"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".
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.