Gardening has been a passion of mine for nearly my entire life. I have enjoyed it so much as a hobby and I’ve been fortunate enough to earn my living at it as well. Some might think that when you’re immersed in something so much, you may start to take a few things for granted that less seasoned gardeners may still find fascinating. I’m happy to say that has never happened with me. I’m every bit as excited to spend time in a garden today as I was when I was first bitten by the gardening bug—a very long time ago.
Part of the reason for my never-ending obsession is that the more I know, the more I realize I don’t know…and that creates passion and thirst to immerse myself in it even more. As a lifetime student of gardening, nature and the environment we share, I find myself wanting to protect it and nurture it, to keep it pure and untarnished. Without even realizing it, I’ve been enlisted as one of her most devoted guardians.
Yes, I do this for me, so that I will have a place to go that was like the place I discovered when I first fell in love with gardening and the outdoors. And I have children. I protect her for them, so they won’t have to only imagine the wonders I’ve known. And for all the others; the ones who may never have the chance without help from people like me to look after her. This is why I’ve become so aware of the changes happening all around us, every day of our lives.
The natural resources that many of us still take for granted are diminishing, and it’s happing at a faster rate than ever before. I know it is by our hand, that so much of what has been done may never recover. And although I know our earth is resilient, I feel the burden to not only stop the decline but help lead in her recovery.
But how does one person go about such an ambitious mission? Thankfully there isn’t just one person; not just you and not just me; although it may seem like it sometimes. There are many, many others that share the same desire and vision. But until most, if not all of us grasp the depth of the consequences and height of the opportunity, we will have our work cut out for us.
Another challenge I know we face as individuals trying to make a difference on this planet, is wondering if our efforts really are making a difference. You are likely familiar with the expression, “it’s the little things that add up”. It really is true and it’s what I think about often as I face off daily against a plethora of obstacles. Yet there are numerous simple actions we can do to actually reduce energy consumption, conserve water and purify the air we breathe, as well as ones we can not do if we’re going to impact our planet in a positive way.
Life seems to be all about the dos and don’ts, doesn’t it? As a parent, I am reminded of it every day. I’m always telling my girls what they can’t do, and their question back is always; “well then what can we do”? There’s a lesson there as we look for ways to be more eco-friendly in our gardens and beyond. After all, it’s how we got into this predicament in the first place, little things added up.
And it’s one of the things I love about gardening. In addition to the beauty it provides and the healing it brings to our minds, what we do for ourselves through gardening can even benefit our world in simple yet significant ways.