There are 2 types of gardeners, perhaps even more. In the two I know there’s the folks that look at a piece of land, want to tear it up, get their fingers as dirty as possible and plant again, and again. Some plants not doing exactly what these folks hoped, or as quickly as they’d liked, get ripped out and replaced, thrown immediately to the compost heap–no questions asked.
Then, there are folks that plant and wait. They tend the garden in a totally different fashion: they assist it, they’ll water when need be and maybe even pull a ‘weed’ here and there, but overall they are more pleased by the organic beauty that evolves the less you interrupt. A little browning on the leaves doesn’t provide this second gardener type an opportunity to remove it, but to gently nurse it knowing it could pull through–sometimes perhaps when hope really should be forsaken.
Our home holds both. Now, generally type 1 does the lion’s share of the gardening because he is much more forward, gung-ho, up-n-at-em. So, type 1 would probably pipe in here to mention that if it was left to the type 2 gardener we wouldn’t get as much produce. Well, type 2 disagrees; type 2 thinks there can be bounty in her methods.
It’s in type 2’s nature to let type 1 be a sort-of inseparable part of the garden–like a ceramic gnome holding a thermometer, or a glass mosaic frog slowly decaying under the sunflowers–an artifact that makes her garden what it is, she pretends things get torn out and tossed aside as a natural part of type 1’s inseparability from the plot. She’ll keep an extra eye out for that rare corner left alone for any given period waiting to see what magic it holds–rogue tomato plants, stray nasturtiums, unplanned marigold bushes, a come-back-kid rosemary bush…she’d rather not quit a plant. Not to say type 1 never relinquishes and allows such naive hopefulness, and not to say all ‘dying’ plants have miracles in store.
Neither type 1 or 2 is right or wrong, better or worse. The fact is, it may be the 2 are the perfect pair for a successful garden, and beyond.
This all comes to mind as we pull together our planting plan for the upcoming growing season. What a thrill to start back at the beginning each year. Type 1 has ordered compost, type 2 thinks our dirt could work. Type 1 wants to toss seeds from years past, type 2 thinks there’s hope for them yet. Type 1 wants to restructure the garden beds to keep the raised bed boards from rotting, type 2 thinks a rotten board here and there might be romantic…
The list goes on and on, and though it can cause an argument here and there with these two naturally opposing types, we both still love to garden–together.
Anything like this going on in your garden?