Garden, jardin, giardino; for most of us the word conjures up a beautiful picture. Gardens are so prominent in the Bible, we must surmise they are very important to God. Life on earth for mankind began in a garden, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray before he was betrayed and his tomb was a garden tomb; there are many more references to things that spring from the ground in the Bible. Perhaps recollections of Eden are imprinted on our mind.
Gardens are for food, rest and relaxation. They provide shade and are a great hobby – the most popular in our country. For those of us who watch home improvement shows, we know gardens are essential to “curb appeal” and can be fashioned into an “outdoor room”. Anyone can have a garden, whether they are in your “back forty” (requiring a tractor), or a row of potted herbs on a kitchen windowsill. We can still get the satisfaction from planting and tending plants.
We who are blessed to live in the area of the world that the great horticulturalist, Luther Burbank, chose over all others, have no excuse for failure. The complaint about having a black thumb won’t fly here. Just a little advice from a gardening friend or from your local nursery can get you started. The guidelines for a successful garden are simple: Good soil, the right plant in the right place, water and food. Also, have a plan ready to follow. Walk your neighborhood. What do you like and what is thriving? Do you want food, flowers, greenery or all of the above? If you are a novice, try foolproof succulents in containers. You will notice I didn’t specify pots. Plants are very forgiving and will grow in almost anything that will hold soil and water, but be sure the container has good drainage. I use Miracle Grow potting mix and stir in Osmocote which feeds for up to four months and get great results.
Remember the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1-8? Soil prep is the foundation. Dig your soil down about 10 inches, turn it over, break up the clods and dig in organic material. Don’t make the common mistake of buying the plants first; they can get root-bound while waiting for you to get the ground ready. The planting part is really fun. Follow the guidelines and get ready to jump back out of the way when your garden springs to life.
Why do we garden? Some of us just can’t help ourselves.
Your gardening friend,