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What kind of gardener?

This morning as I walked home from dropping off my youngest at childcare I took a moment to appreciate the gardens. Despite my hayfever fuelled daze, the beauty of the emerging springtime gardens still shone through.

One garden demanded my attention as I strolled on by. A modern design that really complimented the old cottage that it led to. One of those gardens that only uses three or four plants of differing textures and heights within a complimentary colour scheme. Sea lavender and silver grey succulents. It looked strikingly beautiful and very well maintained.

I really enjoy these kinds of gardens. I truly admire them and the work that must go into making them thrive. But I don’t want one.

My garden is a bit of a rambling mess, but I think it’s beautiful. I love to look at it through the view from the study. Seeing how it changes through the seasons and years that pass by. Why? Because I love the process of gardening more than the garden itself.

I enjoy the sense of experimentation. I find fulfilment in seeing what thrives, but also seeing what dies and why. For me, the idea of maintaining a small array of plants to consistently be at their healthiest sounds like a bit of a chore. Like housework. Another thing on a list of things that needs to get done.

I feel like maybe it’s this way with the whole generalist/specialist thing. I can fully appreciate the value of specialising and admire the qualities of people who do. But it’s just not where I find fulfilment. To some people, that may mean that my career looks less attractive. More like the rambling garden with a scruffy kind of beauty than the polished landscape design.