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What is a farmer? What is a gardener? What is an UNgardener?

January 22, 2013

WP_000202So, you want to have a beautiful garden, but can’t imagine calling yourself a gardener?  I have the same problem!  UNgardener seems to suit me much better!  Don’t get me wrong, I love to dig in the dirt and watch my seeds become colorful and edible plants.  I just don’t enjoy the “work” part enough to spend a lot of time in my yard.  Plus, my yard is small.  If I were to imagine calling myself a gardener (or farmer) I would also imagine myself standing amidst towering apple trees, a vineyard, and rolling grassy hills spilling over with lilies that I planted one at a time.  That, to me, is a gardener!  A farmer stands on a huge rectangle of land parceled out line by line with varying edibles.  She has dirt in her fingernails so permanently that it is more of a sign of arrival at gardening perfection.  Neither of these people define me.  And so, here I am re-defining myself, the UNgardener.  I aspire to be great at what I do, but I humbly admit that with only 30 minutes a day in the yard, I cannot do as much as them.  And that’s ok.

I have never been much of a glass-is-half-empty kind of girl though, so I started putting on my gardening gloves when I became a homeowner in 2006.  It was the first time I ever took interest in the subject, but I fell in love with the process quite instantly.  I realized how much I had to learn and threw myself into it.  Which as an Engineer, is just how I always do new things.  I realized if I could learn just one new thing each day, there was a LOT that I can do, and that will be what makes my yard, my paradise.  It’s amazing how great my spaces can look with just the smallest of time investment.  I will show you.  There will be flowers in every color, along side fruits, vegetables, and herbs.   I will sip my wine (and you will come to learn how much I also love wine) watching my children laughing while playing in their sandbox or pirate play place.

An UNgardener is someone, like me, who loves to beautify her space, loves to have warm tomatoes freshly picked off the vine, and even aspires to grow grapes to add to her husband’s next batch of homemade wine.  More than anything though, an UNgardener is anyone who simply aspires to plan, create, and enjoy their outdoor spaces.  Much like Thomas Jefferson, who said “we have the right to the “pursuit” of happiness”, I am of the belief that happiness in the garden lies more in the “pursuit” of growth rather than specifically in the growth itself.  If I were wrong I would find no joy in pulling out my UNgardener Binder in January to plan for the upcoming year.

Happy UNGardening Planning Month to all!

Cheers!

The UNgardener

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