It is that time of year again. The birds are building their nests, trees are bearing new leaves, and new buds are sprouting, all preparation for the abundance of summer.
It is also a great time to get stuck into the garden, clear out the old and dead and make space for the new.
Of course, gardening is more than just adhering to the standards of the HOAs and keeping up appearances. To many, gardening is a way of connecting to a tiny piece of domesticated nature.
Not only can a garden produce an aesthetically pleasing environment, but it also holds a few secrets - if we are willing to pay attention.
Secret 1 - Grounding
A fancy word for walking or standing barefoot on the earth, and the benefits to our well-being that science show is extraordinary. Not that I need peer-reviewed papers to convince me. The feeling I get from having the grass or sand beneath my feet is evidence enough for me.
Secret 2 - Bee, Birds and Bugs
We have all heard about the importance of bees and their role in the ecosystem. It is easier, I suppose, to market how important bees are because of what they produce. Honey - the sweet by-product of hard work, dedication and brilliant organisation, qualities that are so admirable to us humans. But what about the ants, the chafer beetles, the earthworms and the woodlice? They, too, play a vital role in the delicate balance of nature, and their systems are equally extraordinary. Maybe one day, through biomimicry or entomology, we will learn their secrets too and then appreciate them for it.
And for the bird lovers:
What is a garden without birds
but a life only the deaf and blind could comprehend?
What secrets songs do they sing
whistling among themselves through the trees?
We can see them if only we look.
We can hear them if only we hear.
We can understand them, if only we invite them
into our gardens.
Secret 3 - Sustenance
A man, let’s call him Steve, visited a nursery in March 2020. Perhaps he knew something about the challenges ahead and wanted to be prepared. He purchased a large number of vegetables and fruit trees. The owner approached Steve to ask what he was planning to do with all the plants. Steve said he wanted to completely redesign his garden to be fully sustainable for the coming months ahead and beyond. The owner, curious by this plan, told him that he would have way too much produce to consume just for himself. Steve, without hesitation, responded that he intends to share the yield with his neighbours and community.
Imagine a world like that? One in which we all share in each other’s harvest.
It is true that what we reap, we sow, but what we share creates abundance.
Spring, with its blooms, blossoms and sprouts, is a reminder to pause and marvel at the wonder and the secrets our gardens hold. Why else would it want to show off?