The Gardener’s Shadow

Posted in: Garden, How to... | 0

I am not a particularly gifted photographer and this lack of talent often results in my own shadow interloping in many of my pictures. As a lucky coincidence these failed photographs reminded me of a neat little parable, that goes something like this… “The very best fertilizer is the Gardener’s Shadow.” I don’t recall when I first came across this simple bit of wisdom, but I imagine it would most likely have been in a book about gardening.

A little digging around with my “Google-fu” and I found some sources say that it is a Chinese proverb and some others that attribute it to a misquote of Pliny the Elder. Whatever the origin there is a more than a bit of wisdom in those few words. It actually pretty much sums up our gardening philosophy.shadow.01We do try hard not to be reactionary in our Gardens. It seems to work better if we wait and observe some of our problems before any reactions are contemplated. Infestations of aphids almost always summon a battalion of ladybugs and lacewing larvae that will do the battle for us if we only give them time to marshall their forces.

Spending a lot of time every day just walking though the Gardens and looking at all of the plantings lets us notice small infestations and to scrub or smother tiny weeds (yay for hay!) before they take hold. Most other Garden problems seem to take care of themselves if we continue to feed the healthy living soil and if we make each  planting according to it’s needs.

2014-08-07 17.18.34 HDR2014-08-07 17.16.04 HDR2014-08-07 17.19.15 HDR2015-02-14 08.37.32That sharp slant of Winter light. Long shadows seem to look so very cold, don’t they?