Monday, June 16, 2008

A Gardening Hobby?

Obviously, the person(s) who arrived at this notion were not gardeners! I wonder if they also felt that parenthood was a past time too. Is being an accomplished cellist also considered a hobby? A hobby would be building tiny ship models inside a bottle or creating airplane out of beer cans. A hobby is something that is inanimate, a past time you could put away and pay no attention to for weeks or months on end.

Gardening is done in the soil. It is the daily care and life support of living things that are literally stuck in the mud. Gardening is sweating and getting dirty. It is feeding hundreds, even thousands of thirsty or hungry souls whatever and whenever they require it. Gardening is like being the conductor of the most beautiful orchestra anywhere.

Gardening is a lifestyle. A passion that creates an entirely unique world where ever the bug takes root. You cannot be a part-time gardener; if you try that you will quickly be without a garden. Anyone with any understanding of what is entailed in gardening would never be so silly as to call it a hobby. A hobby does not require one to learn so many things of widely varying subjects in order to succeed. A hobby comes with simple to follow instructions, not vague signals one must interpret without so much as a word in print or spoken.

True gardening is rewarding on a level that I just cannot see being compared to the thrill of say creating a picture from little stitches in fabric. Once done it is framed, hung on the wall or laid across the bed and never changes at all and so becomes static - a predictable never wavering thing that becomes unnoticeable. One could never say anything remotely like this about a garden. It is not the same for more than two days in a row! Gardens constantly change and never seem to lack something new and captivating. I mean when was the last time you felt the magic of a cross-stitch kit overwhelm you completely?

You really shouldn't dine on a hobby, unless it is baking sumptuous cookies. Plastic and glue are said to not be good for your health. Yet a garden can sustain your heart, mind, soul and erase hunger pangs all from one small piece of earth. There is more good packed into a garden than any other place of equal size found anywhere else. Gardens are a place to find healing, peace, love and charity growing so comfortably beside obsession. None of this is found in an airplane fashioned from empty beer cans!

Get down and dirty gardeners are guilty of allowing their passion to spill over into containers. Potted extensions of the soiled world will litter the cleaner outdoor spaces connected to and adjacent from their house. They would not settle for one or two vessels crammed with 20 different plants all fighting over food, foot space and air to breathe. Though this would be the only time they would consider growing a new adoptee in something other that real gritty dirt. Bonafide gardeners start their seeds and cuttings on the deck, front porch and patio ... anywhere they can keep a close eye on and protect from the elements those small and helpless things they are patiently raising to a point they can survive out there in the jungle of planting beds.

How can we define a hobby gardener? After giving this a bit of thought I have the answer to this misconception at labeling. A hobby gardener grows only in containers. Container gardening compared to digging in the dirt and pulling weeds on your day off while fending off Mother Nature's latest twist in your plot ... is NOT gardening. Container gardening is far too controlled and contrived to be truly called gardening.

While I realize that a huge number of people would not be able to enjoy the beauty and miracle of growing live plants without this container method, it really is nothing like gardening and should not be lumped into the same division as naturally dirt grown beauty or food. Two sets of rules govern each of these divisions until you come to pests and diseases, that unfortunately remains the same. One can not enjoy dinner inside a container, yet one can turn a garden into their own little outdoor world.

In conclusion, there is no such thing as a hobby in gardening, unless you have thrown in the trowel over the latest lesson in defeat. Gardening is more like being in charge of a wild little orphanage, though you personally have fallen in love with each being in residence and carted it home to watch it become so much more. Someone really needs to print a lot of retractions before more of the world at large is so grossly misinformed too far into the future. Though instinct tells me they get away with this labeling it a hobby because trying to make a living from growing plants has become almost impossible in today's retail environment. Though if you honestly consider the realities, a garden never was, nor never could be just a hobby.

You know, it's great to see you here! So glad you came by.
Sure would be nice if you could help a poor girl buy one more plant.

1 comment:

Mother Nature said...

How about gardening is a passion, a consuming obsession. ;) Welcome to Blotanical.
Mother Nature/Donna