• A Garden Philosophy

    by  • August 20, 2011 • Design, Garden

    “I have found, through the years of practice, that people garden in order to make something grow; to interact with nature; to share, to find sanctuary, to heal, to honor the earth, to leave a mark. Through gardening, we feel whole as we make our personal work of art upon our land.”

    ~Julie Moir Messervy, The Inward Garden

    Start small

    You don’t need to drastically overhaul your garden all at once.  Just go a few hours without predetermined goals in mind. Give yourself the freedom to follow your passion for an hour or so. 


    As you get better at this, start learning more about the plants you love. See what other plants do well in your area. Eventually you’ll feel confident enough ‘branch out’ and plant something new. One new gardener likes to buy annuals that she’s never seen bloom.  Then it’s a surprise and joy to see them do so.

    Gardening, not just work

    Garden because you love it, and have no idea where that will take you.  This is the reason to go out in the garden with no plan in mind, tasks will come to you and you do them naturally and always because you’re enjoying yourself!

    Mule deer, they don’t care. They don’t give a hoot!

    Let go of plans

    Plans are not really necessary to have a great garden. Many, many gardeners start their gardens this way. They look at the plants at the nursery and plant what they like.  Sometimes it’s incredibly difficult to let go of living with plans, but for instance, take note of where you already walk in the garden now. Where do you naturally want to go in the garden?  That’s where to plan your pathways in the garden. 

    Don’t worry about mistakes

    It’s OK. There are no mistakes on this journey — it’s just a learning experience. Most gardeners have killed a lot of plants. There’s no failure if you have no set destination! 

    It’s all good

    No matter what garden you create, no matter where you end up, it’s beautiful. Your garden is all so personal, different, and belongs to you only. Don’t judge, but experience!

    Peckinpah Mountain

    Old grizzled Peckinpah Mountain, it’ll be here no matter what, …through problems big and small.


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.