What’s in your garden?

Garden "butchart gardens", Vancouver...

Definitely not my garden. Garden “butchart gardens”, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When my husband and I decided to start landscaping our yard, we decided that we wanted to include a garden in our plans. I thought to myself how nice it would be to have rows of flower beds. My husband, having grown up in a more rural setting, wanted to plant things like corn and other vegetables.

We wanted the same thing in theory, but had completely different ideas as to how to achieve it. It was one of those times requiring compromise. He was willing to plant things other than corn, but every plant we selected for the garden had to serve a purpose beyond looking pretty.

Blackberry-flower

Blackberry-flower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We selected strawberries, blackberries, grapes, tomatoes, peppers, squash, green beans, some herbs, and others. Almost all of these flower before transforming. Those that don’t at least smell wonderful before being chopped up or dried for recipes. Everything is edible.

I still love viewing other people’s flower gardens. But everything we chose had to add something to our lives we both valued. As a result, our garden feeds our stomachs as well as our senses.

One of the challenges I have faced since I began writing has been ensuring the words I select for inclusion serve a purpose beyond looking pretty. For example, flowery language is fine, but it must bear fruit. If it doesn’t, then I have to cut it out like a garden weed.

It’s a skill I am still working to improve, both in my novels as well as on my blog. This article used to be twice as long, but the only value those extra words added was as an increase to my word count.

It is the same at the day job. If the assignment or opportunity doesn’t create a value for me or the organization exceeding the resource drain then I have to ask if it should be pursued. You can still be a team player even if you turn a task down now and then. Not all business opportunities are created equal either.

Yes, you can eat dandelions if you are starving, but most people would classify those as weeds. Left unchecked, weeds will choke out better crops or rob those crops of nutrients. They will grow and spread even if you ignore them. Why help them do their damage by spreading nitrogen or other fertilizer on them?  The trick is recognizing the weeds for what they are before they have taken root.

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2 thoughts on “What’s in your garden?

  1. I can relate to your garden theme and I’m glad that you and your husband saw eye to eye. My husband too, is the one who says that we should grow stuff that we can eat and not just look pretty because food is expensive. Unlike you, apart from spinach and some tomato plants which were nice while they lasted, we have yet to make a concerted and consistent effort.

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    • We had a great crop of blackberries this year and the tomatoes are looking promising, but the deer are getting bolder. I am not sure which of us will wind up eating better.

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