The Gardener’s Mind

By “Green” Gene Sottosanto

The most vital aspect of positive art, easily overlooked in the commercial pursuit, is that it enhances life with functional purpose and integrity. In a practical sense, though all may be called art, the most valuable form is in that of the home garden. The benefits of abundant life can hardly be overstated. An intelligent gardener, with worthy basic premise, starts from the windowsills and doors of home, and with ever-increasing order and diversification, enhances the value of space, light, water, even time and all dead or living materials. We are to encourage abundant life and every choice makes a difference.
Being in one’s garden, it is easy to forget the world’s problems, and even to naively wonder – “Why can’t everyone just enjoy nature and be happy?” The pleasure to our senses offers intrigue and joy, that is improved by effort, and sharing of this critical creative outlet. If we live in an apartment, we might only grow sprouts on the windowsill and perhaps hike in the hills, but we are healthier the more we partake with the living and life giving elements, including that of dirt.
An excessively formal style represents man over-controlling, yet removed from his environment, dominating rather than stewarding the living realm. Routine gardening is generally void of benefit or improvement, but tends to perceived deterioration with actual deterioration. In a busy fabricated world that caters to ignorance and unnecessary hostility towards life, it is always a relief and a pleasure to be immersed in a diverse natural setting.
Working with, rather than in spite of our environment, quality of life increases for all while values and choices change. Dawn at home and visiting other gardens and gardeners is favored over staying too late at the bar or T.V. Fresh produce is chosen over unripe, packaged and processed food. Stretching and exercising in a garden is favored over  “working out” in the club. Cars are used less for visits to the store, club, even doctor, weekend trips, entertainment and income. Proverbs 24:27 advises: “First get everything ready out of doors, then build your house and home.”
Every garden can improve and fulfill, and every subtle improvement offers further gratification. Following the ways of a true gardener’s mentality, the three R’s of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, become four with Restore and enjoy more. When getting into town, many distractions may be found, yet nature does abound. Enjoy life on Earth, rebirth, and mirth. Basic premise and time, and nature are sublime!
The true gardener is blessed with many surprises – vistas of beauty, moments of joy, lessons, and serenity. These garden gifts demonstrate wondrously the basic premise often missed – that ecology and economy are linked inextricably. It is logical to be eco-logical! Regarding a commercial point of view, a gardener does not “work for a living” – but for the living. The value of fulfillment is priceless.