To Rule A Garden…Or More

“Anybody who wants to rule the world should try to rule a garden first.” ~ Author Unknown

I found this unattributed quote and it struck me as true. Nothing humbles like a garden – a tiny microcosm of the world where distinct forces work best in harmony, but are sometimes pushed into doing battle for survival and the chance to ensure future generations.

I’m not really sure that anyone ever rules the garden; to assume so would tempt Mother Nature’s scorn. But to tame and transform a garden calls upon many of the same qualities required of great leaders.

1. Collaboration
A successful garden requires a close union with nature. To be truly connected to the earth demands a genuine interest and care for the welfare of all who live there: the flowers and trees, the birds, bees, butterflies, and tiny toads. Each has a role in the lasting success of the garden. Learn to live and work together.

2. Vision
A gardener must be practical and grounded – making the best of what they have been dealt in wind, water, temperature, and soil. But a gardener also keeps one boot firmly planted in the future – looking seasons ahead in decisions about where to plant sun and shade, laying a good foundation with well-nourished soil, and considering the needs of all for space, habitat, and life essentials.

3. Observant
Mother Nature will not be controlled. But by studying with patience and watchfulness, she will share her lessons. A gardener earns her respect by being gracious and persuasive, but never controlling.

4. Empathy and Tolerance
We share our gardens with countless creatures – each simply going about the business of living their lives, feeding their families, and ensuring their survival.

This is their home, too. Share with empathy, compassion, and an appreciation for their unique contributions to the garden.

5. Innovative
A gardener’s failures are many. Learn to accept them with grace. To succeed means to be a perpetual student, tester, and inventor. What you can’t renew: transform. For the things you can’t (or shouldn’t) change: learn to adapt.

6. Ethical
We have but one earth. Treat it with care. Make sustainable choices and live by the motto: do no harm. The passerby in awe of that oversized, out-of-season flower does not know – but the earth does and carries any lie.

7. Passionate
A garden is built of passion and purpose reflecting the heart of the gardener who is blessed to work and walk among its inhabitants.

Without passion, a garden is merely a chore. Be motivated by passion, but lead with humility.

19 comments

  1. Thank you so much for the advice. I am going to start my own garden after getting some inspiration from my aunt and unfortunately I did not inherit her green thumb. Your photos are lovely.

    • You will do fine! Good soil; just enough water; don’t be overly anxious to clean – all that dead stuff provides habitat, cover for baked or frozen ground and nurtures the soil. And don’t worry if you have some failures. We all do!! 🙂

  2. What a powerful set of thoughts and wisdom. I love them all, and particularly this one: “To be truly connected to the earth demands a genuine interest and care for the welfare of all who live there: the flowers and trees, the birds, bees, butterflies, and tiny toads.”

  3. You would make an excellent diplomat. A beautiful piece of writing, so simple yet profound. You’ve captured all the beauty in your garden, all the tiny lives that live there. We don’t see snakes or frogs in our arid garden. What a treat to spy them in yours.

  4. The clarity in your photos is amazing – especially the hummingbird! Did you use special lighting to capture it? Your post is wonderful – beautifully said and beautifully illustrated. Came to you from Judy’s reblog – so glad I did!

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