Margaret Roach is one of my favorite garden writers (she hosts a wonderful podcast, too), and I love the title of her recently updated book: A Way to Garden.
I love it because, while she has so much garden knowledge and wisdom to offer, she is always careful to acknowledge that her way of gardening is not the only way of gardening. And I find that enormously freeing. Gardening becomes more fun and less burdensome if we can shed the “shoulds” and simply get busy creating the garden we want to make.
Another favorite garden writer of mine is Monty Don.
His books are excellent, but he is best known for hosting the weekly British gardening television show Gardener’s World. For those of us who don’t live in the UK, we can often find old episodes on YouTube, but I watch new episodes on the subscription television channel called Britbox (available through Amazon Prime).
Recently, Monty and Gardener’s World have been constrained–as we all have–by the realities and limitations of the global corona virus pandemic. This means that they are not free to visit gardens to film, and the show has had to adapt.
Whereas the show used to be beautifully and professionally filmed and produced from start to finish, now the show incorporates short homemade videos submitted by home gardeners across the UK. The films are unpolished and quirky, and the gardens and gardening practices they showcase are the same.
I miss the old beauty and polish, but I am also newly encouraged by the reminder that there are so very many ways to garden. As inspiring as the old Gardener’s World always was, it did set a very high–and you might even say impossible–standard. Finishing an episode, I often felt inspired and discouraged in equal measure.
But now? Now I remember that there is no one way to garden.
And my way matters. Perhaps not to anyone else. But it matters to me. And it matters to the place I’ve been given.