The Secret of My Passive Gardening

I am a passive gardener. There, the secret of my gardening technique is out. “Passive gardener” is a polite way of saying that I garden with as little interference and as much laziness as possible. I plants the plants, water them and feed them, as best I can, and then let them get on with doing what they do best, which is being plants. They have been plants longer than we have been humans, thus I am reasonably confident that they know more about how to grow well than I will ever know.  ( Ah, such a great justification for laziness and slapdashery 🙂 )  So, considering the degree of benign neglect that my garden endures, I am always surprised by what it produces. Yesterday, I harvested the garlic and, in terms of bulb size and quality, it is the best garlic harvest I have had in the five years  that I have been trying to grow garlic. Was it the good garlic starter cloves from a friend or was it that I dared to plant them later than the garden books suggest?  Who knows, but here is the garlic. Taking the Air

It’s really big close up…Mighty Garlic

An afterthought: I may not work hard in my garden; I may not garden to the rules; but I DO ADMIRE IT constantly, I DO TALK TO IT and I SING IN IT  (which should rightly make it curl up and die!) and  I LOVE IT. Maybe that is the real secret of my passive gardening :).

19 thoughts on “The Secret of My Passive Gardening

  1. vsperry

    I love being a passive gardener, but it is a bit harder here in the Mid-Atlantic portion of the U.S. as the summers can be brutal for plants. I think you’re growing season is a little more gentle. I was in Christchurch in April of 2010 and was truly amazed at the way things grow in your area. Oh, and I like your blog!

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. We are fortunate to have a reasonably mild climate so that gardens can take very good care of themselves most of the time. Of course, there are some very active gardeners in Christchurch and their gardens are gorgeous. I am sure you saw some of their handiwork during your visit 🙂

  2. mmmarzipan

    Passive gardening sounds perfect! I love the idea! We hope to move a little south of town and have a small garden surrounded by “naturtomt” (which basically means natural space/land). I hope our garden will produce lovely results like yours does! 🙂

  3. Clanmother

    I am a very, very passive gardener. We have community gardens all over Vancouver! I walk past them and take pictures, speak with the gardeners and then shop at Whole Foods. My friend is in charge of the community garden in the heart of Vancouver city centre. I asked him if anyone “steals” the produce in the middle of the night, because it is a virtually unprotected space. He laughed and said, they steal the produce in the middle of the day when he is watering the plants. The concept of “community” suggests that everyone can help themselves – many think it is for the community at large. He is happy if he gets about 50% and considers the other 50% as a volunteer/donation to the others, many of whom are homeless. I love stopping by…

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      That is a great way to garden. My greetings to your friend. He does a worthy job. I once grew potatoes in a small garden on the outside of my fence. No one touched them . I was very surprised.

  4. leapingtracks

    I’m with you all the way on this. John Muir said ‘there are no accidents in nature’. We had a lovely courtyard garden in our last place and I was a great believer in letting climbing plants climb where they wanted; things in pots do their thing, trailing if they wished. Over the ten years we were there the garden evolved into a beautiful urban oasis virtually all by itself. 🙂


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