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Convenience

Report From PIA – December 9

This morning I woke up and saw a slight coating of snow. Truthfully, my first reaction was to think, “This is nice; enough snow to change the landscape, but not enough to shovel.”

I love snow and how it transforms the garden and daily life, but my initial response was not wanting to be inconvenienced. Throughout the day I thought about this. Our culture encourages us to value effortlessness above everything else. Convenience stores, instant coffee, fast food, and commercials that promise easy-everything have lulled us into thinking that ease is all.

Perhaps the huge interest in low-maintenance gardening is really a desire not to be bothered by weeding or pruning. Those who want a quick, no-fail approach to insects or diseases (i.e. synthetic pesticides) are seeking not to be troubled by nature’s cycles.

Not to self: next time I wake up and wonder if the snow will: 1. Make me late to work, 2. Be deep enough to need shoveling, or 3. Change my plans and expectations; remember that life isn’t about convenience. Living concerns the entire experience: work, rest, upset, simplicity, effort, joy, and tragedy.  Oh yes… and ease.

A snowfall alters our perspectives. It changes the landscape into black and white, and highlights shapes.

A snowfall alters our perspectives. It changes the landscape into black and white, and highlights shapes.

This morning's snow has altered my personal landscape as well, reminding me not to judge things by how easy they are.

This morning's snow has altered my personal landscape as well, reminding me not to judge things by how easy they are.

4 Responses to “Convenience”

  1. 1
    melanie watts:

    Amazing how a small amount of snow makes everything feel Christmassy.

    I don’t think that low-maintenance gardening is synonymous with using pesticides. I don’t use pesticides in my garden and it is low maintenance. I use weed free manures and compost to improve my clay soil. I water my perennials for the first year or two until they are established. If I get unwanted bugs I squish them or wipe them off with a cloth or spray them with water or just live with them. Eventually nature will right itself and predators will move in.

  2. 2
    CL Fornari:

    Hey, Melanie! It kind of depends on how you define low-maintenance. Many of my clients would say it’s having things perfect but doing very little work. You and I are willing to spread manure and compost, and squish bugs, but large numbers of home-landscapers would rather scatter synthetic fertilizer-pesticide combination products and be done with it. Let’s face it, spreading soil amendments and mulches takes more effort than scattering a granulated product. I guess that you and I want to convey that this is OK.

  3. 3
    Elidad:

    As much as it is a pleasure to enjoy the beauty of garden, or even just appreciate the intricacies of one plant, the actual process of caring for the garden is where the real satisfaction lies. Life takes effort in what ever direction you go. I am thankful for the beauty we can find around us along the way.

  4. 4
    CL Fornari:

    Yes, Elidad – the process is where the real satisfaction lies. Kind of like life, hmmm?