I can't help but wonder..

I’m currently deep inside Prince Charles’ book Harmony which, to put it very roughly indeed, explores issues of sustainability.

The whole time I’m reading, I’m thinking about how this relates to the garden.

So far it hasn’t – mercifully – gone down the path of much of the sustainability rhetoric.  Now half way through, I’ve been more challenged about the efficacy or power of working the Golden Mean into the ground plane of a garden design than whether I have any obligation to limiting myself to local indigenous flora.

But I’ve also begun to wonder if the single biggest contribution that home-gardening can make to sustainability is the deep sense of humility and wonder it inevitably nurtures in the gardener.  To understand the laws governing your own bit of soil can’t help but shape your sense of joy in, and responsibility to, the entire planet.


  1. Poignant Michael. While some seem content leading glitz-filled, resource-hungry lives gardeners seem to respect nature’s nuances and vulnerability.

  2. I wish it were always universal humility and wonder but I know a lot of gardeners (for whom control is a big issue) where frustration and despair is the more likely result. Rather than learning a deep respect for nature and our planet, they feel like they have been singled out to become a victim of the vagaries of nature. I suspect they are the same people who prefer talking to listening.

  3. Oh dear,guilty as charged, I’m afraid Catherine- every February finds me frustrated and despairing, with a generous dollop of self-pity thrown in…thanks to you both for reminding me to lift my gaze beyond the heat and water bills and remember why I garden…

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