We gardeners, under the guise of lovers of the earth, actually thrive on playing God. We are gods that are often battling the Creator. Think about it, we are constantly fighting nature to create our own version of paradise.
We hybridize and graft, water and fertilize, trim and prune, evict and select just to get the garden we see fit. Determined to grow plants totally unsuitable to our climate, we go to great lengths and expense to nurture the ‘aliens’. Even in our native plant choices, we include only what pleases us personally.
The very concept of a garden is one of manipulation. Nature is being coerced, cajoled and curtailed to the gardener’s dictates. As much as we are seen as preservers and conservers, we do so selectively. We only do what suits us. Yep, it’s true. Before you get your gardener gander up and attempt to protest, consider it carefully.
Do you permit only certain plants in your garden? Are some of those plants ‘special’ and require extra attention? Do you have a lawn? If a plant doesn’t perform to your liking, do you toss it out? As soon as a dry and/or hot spell prevails do you start worrying and turn on the hose and sprinklers more often? At the threat of a sudden frost or cold temperatures, do you cover plants or move them to shelter? Do you keep vigil for weeds? How about measures taken to thwart marauders like deer, rabbits, birds and squirrels that undo your efforts to grow beloved fruits, vegetables and flowers? Do you train climbers and stake floppers? Are the roaming tendencies of plants contained by edgers and fences in borders? You see? We are all guilty. If you garden, you engineer.
We aren’t really working with nature. We are doing our best to manipulate it. We are in charge – the lord of our horticultural lair. Goddess of the garden.
So, lets own it. Gardeners are control freaks and proud of it. Appropriating the 3M motto – we don’t create nature, we just make it better. How about that?
Note: Don’t forget! Coming up next week on November 2 – the reception to “Points Of View”.
Also, I have a painting in another show in Piermont, NY coming up later in November. That reception is on November 25 so mark your calendar!. Details will follow in due course.
Enjoy the images below – examples of my manipulations –
(c) 2018 Shobha Vanchiswar
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