Why do you garden?

As I plod through the mud yet again to get to various parts of my garden, some torn up by the Foxes looking for the moles that are destroying what was once quite a good lawn, tripping over brambles that put out shoots of around 20 ft last year (My arthritis meant that some got away) I ask my self why do I garden?
then I just stop and listen to the birds singing and watch around a dozen mixed tits feeding on the suet mix I make for them, they are now getting through almost 2 lbs of mix a week. We have over 20 types of birds visiting us now, not to mention the butterflies in Summer. The Daffs are coming out to join the snow drops and Camellias despite the snow whilst I was away for a week on the island of Malta, the buds on the Hawthorne are swelling and the first little green leaves are beginning to unfurling me that we are in for another early spring.
--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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On 3/4/04 7:16 PM, in article c28gt3$tmb$ snipped-for-privacy@news8.svr.pol.co.uk, "David Hill"

Because if I don't, I will go insane. It provides a balance to the day to day nuttiness of bills, children and housework.
Cheryl
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I garden because it adds so much to life in the form of new growth, color, and enjoyment. I enjoy starting, and planting new annuals, perennials, and shrubs, and it's a challenge to root and grow a cutting from shrubs, or perennials obtained from a friend. Yes, I often grouse and grumble when the old bones creak and groan after a day in the yard pruning, composting, mulching, weeding, and planting, but the exercise does keep the oil in the old bones greased. Gardening gets me outside because pride will not allow me to let my yard turn into a jungle except in selected areas where jungle provides nurture for birds, bees, butterflies, and encouraged wildlife (deer not included :)).
I love sharing produce from my vegetable garden with friends and neighbors, and it's a real ego booster when strangers stop, ring my doorbell and ask if they may tour my yard, and real estate salespeople use my home as an area showplace.
John
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David Hill wrote:

I worked for the DPW in a large Midwestern city. One year I was assigned to the boulevard maintenance division. My job was basically to pick-up litter, pull weeds, and turn sprinklers on and off on a two-mile long stretch of boulevard. Over that two miles there was a commercial area, an industrial area, a nearly 1/2 mile stretch that was darn near a mini-freeway, and a residential area. The mini-freeway area included a diamond interchange that the department was experimenting in turning back into meadow.
As soon as my boss noticed that I was fascinated with how my boulevard included so many different areas, he became very talkative, and instructive. The landscape gardeners who came out to tend to the more involved aspects were very willing to talk about their passion for gardening as well.
Although I lived in an apartment at that time, I knew some day I'd own a house. Starting that summer, when I looked at houses, I started to visualize what could be done with the landscaping. I knew that I wanted to own a house with more inspired landscaping than my parent's house, with a couple of foundation plantings.
Another great thing about gardening is that there is no such thing as perfection. If I kill a plant, it just means I have another opportunity to try something else in that spot. My boulevard boss also taught me to prioritize. Spend time weeding the beds next to where traffic stops for the traffic signals, he said. The rest only needs to look good when passing at 40 mph, or when standing 40' away on the sidewalk. So if you pass by my home, it looks great from the street. I don't have to be perfect. I can enjoy my results as imperfect as they are.
Heck... Half the fun of gardening is the failures. Talk about a low-pressure hobby! If my knees didn't hurt when I squat too much gardening would be even more fun!
--
Warren H.

==========
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Why did Hilary climb Everest? No, seriously, I bought a house with a very neglected garden and quite a lot of bare space, and I enjoy plants tremendously. Unlike kids they don't turn on you when they're two, and at 13 they're mostly dead, whileas the problems of a human's parents are just starting. zemedelec
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On 3/5/04 8:31 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@mb-m01.aol.com,

Both have their joys.
Cheryl
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It is the Lord's gift to me.
--

Celestial Habitats by J. Kolenovsky
2003 Honorable Mention Award, Keep Houston Beautiful
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That so-called gift isn't free, babe!
Does the lord pay for all your supplies and seeds too?
If you live in Hawaii, would that be Jack Lord of which you speak?
It is the Lord's gift to me.
--
Celestial Habitats by J. Kolenovsky
2003 Honorable Mention Award, Keep Houston Beautiful
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Like the frog who are a wonderful bird and ain't got no tail hardly I garden becuase I ain't got no sense hardly.
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It's so exciting to see plants emerge from tiny seeds. I love seeing the bulb flowers come up in the spring. The crocuses have been up for a couple weeks now, but have yet to open. Tulips and hyacinths are begining to show themselves. The pea seeds are swelling, but haven't broken open yet. I've even spent a few afternoons digging weeds from the lawn. I have rhubarb, bleeding heart, strawberries, and black raspberries on order. I can't wait for early summer when I can plant my vegetable garden, and take cuttings from my dad's gooseberry and the neighbors currents. Ah, the joys of gardening.
When I was a little girl, we had a big vegetable garden. Every other year my dad would get a truckload of manure and spread on it, which made the weeds grow (and probably brought some seeds, too). On weekdays, we couldn't do anything until we weeded a row of the garden, but somehow the weeds always got away from us. (We probably weren't as persistant as we could have been) What a challenge it was to find a vegetable plant in the weeds! It's funny that although the weeds often took over, we had a bountiful harvest every year.
My dad is also very proud of the berries and other things in his yard. When the grandkids came along, he took special joy in taking them to the backyard for some "candy". It was as often rhubarb and gooseberries as it was raspberries or grapes, and they always loved it.
So, I guess, from my dad, the joy of gardening has rubbed off on me. It drove me absolutely insane when I had to live in apartments for a few years. I wanted to get my hands dirty! (and working on cars didn't count). College and newlywed phase passed slowly in the summer. We finally bought a house, and now I'm in heaven (well, the satisfaction of gardening is back, anyway). I only have one problem, things don't grow as well here as they did at my parents'. Oh, and I have to use city water to garden rather than irrigation water. (My main problem with this, I think, is that I tend to want to conserve city water more, and the plants don't seem to get enough).
Well, there you go. You've recieved a short story on gardening. I hope I didn't bore anybody ;-)
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I garden because I enjoy the education that it provides me. A real gardener learns from their failures to be a better gardener rather than giving up and moving on to something else for a hobby. I'm also at that point in my gardening life where my past failures have taught me enough that I can begin to be a source of education for other gardeners, which I also enjoy. There's also something very satisfying in the artistic creations of plant combinations that I've designed. And, I learn to keep it humble when my plonking something here and there because it was on sale and appealing also turns out pretty great without a plan in the world. There's just something very satisfying about growing green things and getting dirt under the nails. It connects you to your forebearers in a visceral way that viewing old photos never will. When you are growing a patch of your grandmother's ditch lilies because she grew them and they were tough enough to take it and survive, you think that maybe you too will be tough enough to take it and survive like gramma did.
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The frog are a wonderful bird
What a wonderful bird the frog are
When he stand he sit almost;
When he hop he fly almost.
He ain't got no sense hardly;
He ain't got no tail hardly either.
When he sit, he sit on what he ain't got almost.
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Hi David, Love your post! WHy do I garden??????????? I like to play God (haha only kidding)
I am a nurturer by nature. I have an instinctual green thumb........I love nature........the four seasons in NY despite the cold bare winter.........it keeps me grounded to remember what is important in life............the tree I plant today is for tomorrow's wanderers.........
Love Caryn "Come into my garden, my flowers want to meet you!"
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