Saturday, July 17, 2010

Defining Perfection

Down the street there is a vacant lot that the owner uses to grow mainly roses. I have been told he grows them to show in competition. There are a few other plants like dahlias and an iris growing there too. It is not a garden, just a plot in the middle of a dirt field with wire fencing around it and the most beautiful roses you could imagine. I have driven by when his truck is there and I have noticed the containers of insecticides and the chemical fertilizers all over the place. It is quite an operation.

I was walking by the other day on my morning walk and ventured in to take a closer look at the amazing roses. Remarkably there was not a spot or hole in any of them. They were all perfect. "Stepford" roses, so to speak. But there was something missing. The sounds of the garden. There were no birds, no bees, no rabbits, no life. It was eerily silent.

It was reassuring to walk back into my garden, full of movement and sounds, everything that takes place in a comfortable, natural setting, and smile at the signs of life, however frustrating they can be at times. My plants will never look perfect like my neighbors roses, but to me it could not be more perfect than the way it is.


Northern Shade said...

I'm with you on this one. What is the point of having a garden that looks good superficially, if you kill off the wildlife and bees by using poisons. Plus there's the potential for poisoning the gardener and family, too.

I usually ignore minor leaf imperfections, etc, or try to grow disease resistant varieties. If a plant really cannot grow in my garden without poisons, I just remove it.

Pam/Digging said...

Great reminder that we garden for more than pristine flowers. We garden to enjoy nature, and you don't get that in a chemicalized, "perfect" garden.

Ginny said...

I much prefer what I call wholistic gardening - enjoying and nurturing the whole of it and not the individual flower or plant. This reminds me of someone who is primarily concerned with how he/she looks - perfect dress, perfect outer grooming - but neglects taking care of their spirit. This man's roses might as well be plastic in my view, for that aren't any more real! And they're out of a natural habitat which would enhance their beauty.

The Redneck Rosarian said...

Well said. I grow roses for exhibition and garden beauty. I have cut back on my spraying habits this year, and hope to be able to find organic methods of dealing with rose disease. Thanks for this post. It is so true, and It keeps this issue on my mind.