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Connecting to Mother Earth Through Gardening

Connecting to Mother Earth Through Gardening

What does nature mean to you? Flowers and trees? Mountains? Animals? Long walks?

Well, for some folks, nature can be personified as “Mother Earth”.

The idea of Mother Earth has many origin points — the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, early Buddhists, and Incas all personified nature as a woman, and all learned to nourish and respect the natural world around them through the idea of Mother Earth.

But, nowadays, we’ve all but forgotten about this once cherished connection. Millions of us go through our daily lives without ever touching the soil that nourishes us, and fewer still actively tend to the earth through gardens or community projects.

Simply put, we need to reinvigorate our connection to Mother Earth and can start by investing ourselves in gardening.

Why Gardening?

The idea of gardening is largely at odds with our busy, profit-driven lifestyles. Gardening takes time, effort, and energy. It doesn’t necessarily yield the results you were after, either — all sorts can go wrong in the process of growing a garden. But that’s part of the appeal. It reminds us that our time on Earth is more about experimentation and learning than it is profit margins or “return on investments”.

Gardening is also great for our physical and mental health. Recent research shows that regular exposure to green spaces does wonders for folks suffering from depression, anxiety, or stress-related illnesses. At the same time, the physical labour involved in digging, pulling, potting, and trimming is a great complementary exercise to other exercise regimes like cycling or walking.

It’s also worth noting that gardens can have a real impact on your local ecosystem. Most human development detracts from the environment which supports local animals, but gardens can have the opposite effect. If you choose to garden with biodiversity and your local ecosystem in mind, you’ll find that your green space will attract numerous bugs, insects, birds, and animals that will enjoy the shade, food, or water offered in your garden.

Getting Started

Most of us know that gardening is good for us and the environment but are intimidated by the prospect of getting started. This is understandable, as it seems as though other gardeners have a near-encyclopedic knowledge of flora, fauna, bugs, and soil. But this isn’t true — even the most experienced gardeners are caught off guard by flowers that fail to bloom or vegetables that produce almost no crops.

Your best bet is to get stuck in and to learn to take failures in your stride as lessons. There are, however, a few things you can do to get yourself on the right path. Here are a few tips for first-time gardeners:

Blueprint

You need to take an accurate measurement of your garden space. This will allow you to plan effectively as you will be able to layout your garden on paper before you start committing to planting. You should also note down areas that get plenty of sunlight and should test your soil to see what Ph you’re working with.

Calendar

Your garden calendar will largely depend on the climate you live in. For this reason, there is no universal advice that works for every gardener in every garden. But, you still need to do your research and plan gardening activities that suit your climate throughout the seasons. If you’re not sure what to do, look for gardeners who are blogging in your gardening zone, as they will likely be dealing with the same weather as you.

Ask for Help

Most green-fingered folks simply love sharing their tips and insights with new gardeners. Of course, you might find the odd curmudgeon who doesn’t want to share their formula for prize-winning cucumbers, but, by and large, gardeners are friendly, happy folks who want to see you succeed. If you aren’t sure about whether or not a plant will be happy in your garden, simply speak to someone you trust or ask an expert at your local garden center.

Identifying Dangers

At first, the biggest danger to our garden is ourselves. We all overwater our plants and are universally guilty of oversewing and under-pruning. However, there are also a few dangers that our gardens pose to our health — like asbestos. Asbestos made its way into our gardens through vermiculite as the minerals used to be mined together. Vermiculite is perfectly healthy for you and your garden, but asbestos is potentially deadly. If you’re unsure about old soil you find, it’s probably best to throw it out and replace it with new dirt.

Growing Your Own Produce

Plots that grow fruits and veggies can still be as beautiful and aesthetically pleasing as the most ornamental of show gardens. Don’t believe it? Just look at the Château de Villandry. All of the plants in Château’s gardens are either fruits or vegetables, and the result is stunning. Here, there are patches of red cabbage which would put fine flowerbeds to shame, and the apple trees which have been trained on espaliers look just as delicate as a well-pruned rose bush.

If you don’t want to commit your entire garden to produce, or just have a small outdoor space, then you might want to look into the idea of a potager. The idea of potager originates in France, where folks would grow the vegetables that were used in soups and salads for lunch. There are plenty of ways to start your potager but start with plants that are known to grow well in your kind of climate as they’re the most likely to succeed.

Pests and Wildlife

Those of us who consider ourselves “naturalists”, or, more simply, love to see animals playing and exploring in our gardens can have a hard time dealing with the pests. After all, the idea of a “pest” is a human invention — the aphids which eat our lettuces don’t know they’re a “pest”.

You can, of course, allow pests and wildlife to roam free. But, you probably won’t get the best out of your garden if you do. Additionally, allowing your garden to become overrun defeats the idea of a “garden” in the first place. Simply put, if you allow nature to run amok, then you have a nature reserve in your yard, not a garden.

There are a range of steps you can take to deter pests and wildlife from your garden, chief of which is wire fencing that you run around your vegetable patch to keep them safe from larger animals. But not all solutions require a physical deterrent. The most underrated of deterrents is colour.

Colour can act as a pest repellent in your garden. Bright colours like yellows and light blues will deter bugs like mosquitos, as mosquitos see dark colours best and are put off by lighter shades. Additionally, light, flower-like colours may attract more birds like blue jays and goldfinches into your garden, which act as a kind of natural pest control on your behalf.

We can all connect with Mother Earth through our gardens, as even the most tamed of yards requires you to get stuck in and muddy. Just be sure to watch out for asbestos in your ground, and consider adding understated deterrents to keep damaging wildlife away.

About the author:

Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She writes about a variety of topics, and spends most of her free time in her garden. 

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Submitted Exclusively to CrystalWind.ca by Frankie Wallace © 2022 crystalwind.ca

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About the author:

Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She writes about a variety of topics, and spends most of her free time in her garden. 

© 2022 crystalwind.ca. All rights reserved.

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