Travel blog

He Said, She Said: An Appreciation for Gardening

By on May 4, 2013

Here are our two versions of the same experience:

He Said Gardening: Not Only Digital

In this journey there always something that takes your interest. And it’s not only digital.

Passing many hours in front of the computer, working for other people, working for yourself, sometimes you forget all the surroundings that are around us.

Sometimes the digital and the virtual have to be exchanged with the natural.

I spent the last 3 days digging, moving, taking out weeds and renovating a garden in the place where we have hospitality right now.

It’s something I think I need to balance and to find my stability in my own life. It’s discovering every day how to use just your hands and a few tools and transform the earth. The feeling of putting my hands inside the earth and digging it, falling through my fingers.

The garden in front of the main house for the guests wasn’t touched- at all- for at least 2 years. It’s something you notice when you start to take out all the leaves just from the surface. It’s completely overgrown. After you have to deal with the weeds, one by one, to extract them and at the same time to be careful of the planted plants.

It’s really nice, after the entire day working down, looking up just near your feet to see the result.

An old farmer in Puglia told me: “Those who leave the earth are cowards.”
…She Said Gardening
Many of you don’t know, but I grew up on a farm in Montana. On the Flathead Indian Reservation, in a tiny town called Ronan.
It’s in a valley surrounded by the Rocky Mountains.
Yes, it’s beautiful and yes, I was more than lucky to grow up in such grandeur. Try telling that to the kid who had to spend entire summers weeding, watering and picking fruit and veg from the huge garden in the heat.
Or the kid that spent a full day every weekend: mowing, trimming and ‘weedeating’ the gargantuan spread of our lawn.Working outdoors and making things pretty wasn’t something that I embraced, and when I left for New York I left that part of lifely experience behind.

Or so I’d thought, until I quietly started acquiring, in different flats, several different plant collections. Until we arrived here, and Sarah needed some help with cleaning up the outside of her property.

We weeded, raked and broke through hard, rocky patches of old soil to make things presentable. And I enjoyed it immensely.

It took me back to those childhood days I was so resentful of at the time; and it reminded me where I come from. My roots revisited and replanted. Of course our mutual enjoyment was bound to lead to:

Our first Mork plant, a little lavender guy Armando insists on calling Mr. Vander. Sigh.* We’ve also seriously discussed getting a basil (A.k.a. Mrs. Basel).

Armando’s friend Zoltan told him about a ‘green wall’ that he’s trying to convince me is green brilliance.

Somehow I’m not quite sold on the idea of adding a side planter to the outside of Mork, but Armando’s hopeful. Grin.

It’s been a great experience for us both to actually work with our hands and take some time away from our online/digital presence. It’s soothing, with a visual satisfaction of clearly being able to see an end result.

It’s woken up our dormant green thumbs, which could again slightly alter our path into a new direction. Who knew gardening could be so influential-?

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