January 31, 2010

Combining Beauty and Food Production

"The garden may not ever be finished, and will certainly never be perfect. That is as it should be, the point is not mastery, but cooperation".
Ann Lovejoy
The Year in Bloom, 1987

Ann Lovejoy has long been one of my favorite gardening authors, especially for gardening in the Northwest. Ann advocates for successful gardening through organic methods; building healthy soils, rather than depleting them, which leads to a thriving garden with little insect and weed intrusion and far less watering. It's her mantra. I'm a life long believer.

My maternal grandparents, who worked a year round garden, always had a compost pile brewing. All of our food scraps of a vegetable, fruit, coffee ground, or egg shell nature were fodder for that warm dark pile out back. The rich loam produced from the process was used to dress the plant bases. Evidence of success was found in the plentiful, flavorful results. No one grew better tomatoes than Grandpa and Grandma, I'm sure of it! Of course the hot San Joaquin Valley heat didn't hamper the results either.

These days, as in the past, whether gardeners are toiling away for the sake of food stuffs or ornamental gratification, there's one thing they will always have in common; gardening is good for the spirit.

The photo above was taken in late summer of 09' in a dear friends Northern garden. She has run her hands through the soil of many springs. Her beautiful gardens have reflected the understanding that comes with the long practice of something. They continue to be an inspiration for the art of combining beauty and food production.


Jack Matthews said...

Chris, that is a gorgeous photo. And the quote by Lovejoy is most correct, a cooperation with the garden. You got the photo framed just perfectly. Tremendous attraction.

Sea Mist and Sunsets said...

Thanks Jack, her garden makes my camera happy. Her region really. There are photos on the blog of lavender fields and bee hives from the same area, same visit. Cooperation yields magical results. In gardens and beyond, yes?

Basket gal said...

Wonderful photo. (I put it on my inspiration wall in the craft room!) I have been trying for years to grow a wisteria archway and the darn deer have other plans. Maybe this year!

Sea Mist and Sunsets said...

Thanks BG,
If ever two gardeners were meant to peek into each others gardens, it's you two. The one she had before moving farther north was wonderful as well. Her work is definitely fit for an inspiration wall.

I grew a wisteria over an arch years ago and never have gotten more than four or five flower clusters a season. The limbs however are as big around as my wrist in some places and have pulled the arch into a most interesting slant, after knotting themselves around the bars. Reminds me of some KIWI plants in your previous garden!

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