Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Gardening 1

Yesterday night was my first gardening class at the county college. I had expected the content of the class to basically be "Ok, you plant stuff, lots of stuff" and presto, in a month I have more plants in my yard thanks to the weekly motivation. But no, the class is much more. I have to look at this much more deeply. What kind of garden do I want to express myself as a person? Do I need it to be well organized or do I thrive on chaos? I have really been thinking about this. First of all, I love English cottage gardens. I love the wild beauty of them- the depth, the color and texture so whimsical and complex... And anyone who has ever seen my workspace knows I operate in a "messy" unordered way. I find both comfort and inspiration being surrounded by lots of things at once. And may be it is that I find tremendous fulfillment imposing order on a tumultuous environment...

But my house isn't. The instructor told us we have to consider the style of architecture of our houses in our design. Our gardens should be constructed in a similar style so that they match and flow is created. The garden is an extension of the house. My house is a formal federalist style brick. A "formal garden" is definitely its style. A formal garden has more distinct planting areas, more space, more order. So, this house and the garden I will create for it will teach me to allow "space". This is where I learn more about myself (and gardening). After all, I love my house to a point of obsession. That must mean I like its style. And I have always thought of the yard as "magical", even now with hardly anything growing in it. So I'll accept trying to promote classy elegance, nothing wrong with that. If I can actually pull it off and my plants survive, I will be both surprised and delighted!

Monday, April 2, 2007


This week's practice was centered around calm mindfulness, and contentment (santosha). My mind wanders back to this as I accept what the day brings.

Last week's practice was centered around awareness, the moment by moment process of actively and openly observing one's physical, mental and emotional experiences.