My friend and popular gardening author, Felder Rushing coined a new phrase; “slow gardening.” I really enjoyed reading what he had to say about this topic. After all, in today’s hectic pace, ‘slow’ seems to be a topic foreign to us – no matter what verb you put with it.
I thought about Felder and his new phrase a few days ago and several times since, as I’ve taken the ‘slow gardening’ approach with my new yard. I have to admit, Felder suggests that this practice be deliberate – a conscience effort to step back, take a breath and relax while you actually enjoy the garden. Hmmm…that’s a concept I’ll have to get used to.
The ‘enjoy’ part is never a problem. It’s the breathing part I struggle with!
Yes, I’m one of those guys who’s always in a hurry to ‘get it done.’ Like many gardeners, I want the instant impact. However in my gardening maturity, I’ve learned that it pays to take things slowly. Feel the land. Let it grow on you for a while. Observe your landscape for a full year while you process the cycles in your mind. How does that sound? Are you buying it?
I’ll admit that I’m using the principle as an excuse for my garden and landscape to be taking so long to complete. That said, it really is true. I often observe the patterns of the sun and foot traffic, while I imagine what I’d like in the end result.
This time and observation will better prepare me to design a truly functional and beautiful landscape. I can think about what I want growing where and change my mind many times before actually committing my wallet and efforts to purchasing and planting. My design is really coming together nicely, albeit still only in my mind’s eye.
The front lawn is clearly a design in process. One area of the yard is torn up. Another is marked with bright orange marking paint, and in yet another, I’ve staged many plants that will someday find a home. Yes, it’s all coming together…slowly, very slowly. Thanks Felder.