The Enjoyment of Fine Gardening
Whether you think of Gardening as an Art or a Science, I think we all can agree that for those who engage in it, it is an enjoyment. Actually it is both an Art and a Science. It encompasses the science of plants as well as the art of color combinations, textures and arrangements.
Fine gardening may mean different things to different people, but to me fine gardening means more than just a garden. It encompasses many good and worthy things and combines them to make a garden that is the epitome of each person's dreams.
The enjoyment of fine gardening comes not only from the finished garden but from the path you take to get there. Just as a child not only enjoys opening his gifts on Christmas morning, he enjoys the days preceding that morning when he is able to discover the gifts under the Christmas tree, find which ones are for him and then anticipate what might be in the packages that are marked for him.
As a gardener, you will spend time planning and designing your garden in the first stages. Then you will expend time acquiring the plants, purchasing needed tools, buying accessories like plant food, stone, mulch and decorations for the garden. Then comes the surface preparation, planting, watering and landscaping details. And finally, your enjoyment of fine gardening will be fully realized when you see your plants growing, spreading and blooming. This last part is truly a thrilling time.
Once you've reached this last stage, you will greatly enjoy the rewards of your labors. You can step back and take a breath and enjoy your little plot of peace and calm and meditate on the wonders of nature and all that God has created.
Some of the sights and sounds that could give you these feelings of accomplishment, peace and enjoyment might come from a water fall that makes a continuously soothing gurgle, stepping-type stones and slabs of flat rock placed to create interesting terrain or a pond, moss growing on the rocks, water lilies floating in the water, plants with contrasting bright colors, waist high decorative grasses with large plum heads that gently wave in the breeze, ferns and leafy rain-forest type plants that give the area a lush green look.
Plus you can choose from an endless variety of plants with different colors and color combinations to decorate your garden whether it be hues of pink, orange, lavender, red, yellow, white, green, brown or purple. Just as an artist paints a painting, you can create a colorful landscape through the art of Fine Gardening.
And of course there are the trees that also come in a great variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Maybe you can't afford or don't have the time to plant large mature trees to give you instant shade under which you can lounge and sip tea. You can still reach that goal by planting some fast growing saplings in the right places that will fulfill your wishes in a few years.
If you are one of those people who is so time strapped that you won't have the time to constantly work in and care for a home garden, you might consider constructing a Japanese rock garden, or Zen garden.
The main elements of Zen Gardens are rocks and sand, with the sea symbolized not by water but by sand raked in patterns that suggest rippling water. Plants are much less important (and sometimes nonexistent) in many Zen gardens. So once you get it set up, there will be no watering, feeding, pruning or replanting. It would be pretty much a maintenance free garden yet you would still have colors, textures, sizes, variety and most of all, a pleasant and peaceful place to sit and enjoy. You could even incorporate a path, naturally made out of rough hewn stone, zigzagging in a leisurely course through the garden.
A finishing touch for any kind of garden would be to have a little alcove that gives you or your visitors a wide-angled view of the entire garden, complete with a sun shade, a low-lying bench and a few plump cushions.
And when you walk among all that you have done, no matter how much work it took to accomplish, you will realize that the art of fine gardening is something that will give you many hours of enjoyment and pleasure in return.
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