The Dissociative Gardener

Horseofadifferentcolor

Jedi Council Member
When I first joined this forum I was really very excited to participate in plant talk with like minded folks. I have yet to do so until now. I was inspired by this thread here http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,34483.msg543621.html#msg543621 Thankyou GreenMan and HowToBe


With all the serious things happening on our planet I have felt a since of guilt for years about how much time I spend tending my flower beds. I even got bee hives for an excuse for more flowers. I no longer make up excuses for my compulsive gardening habits. Another member told me one day that it is a form of positive dissociation and I took that and ran with it. I have never been very good at writing or the tech part of this world and that has brought up all kinds of I programs not being good enough to share or be of any help to this group.

I used to be a pretty big activist concerning environmental issues. I almost was arrested at the capital when Bush Jr. was pulling his dirty deeds while still governor for Texas. All the knocking on doors, signing petitions, and protesting only got me pushed farther away from my friends and family. No one cared. I got told one day that people like me is why their brother lost his job. :huh: I am still active in a sense by voting with my wallet and trying to plant my way out of this hell we live in. I joined volunteer programs that rehabilitate land taken over by invasive species and human destruction.

2015 has started off pretty bad and I am sure I am not the only one feeling how terrible it all seems. On the thread linked above GreenMan had this to say "Yes, gardening as you and I know it, is a gift to the world around us and an act of faith in the future. These days I don' have a lot of faith that there is a future here on the BBM but then spring comes again and I feel so blessed to have another one that I'm hooked all over again."
I can relate to this. Last winter I lost some of my sensitive collectors plants to an unexpected hard freeze and had decided o.k. enough with all of this. What is the point to go on. The world is ending anyways. Things are so bad in the world and no one cares or can afford plants anymore anyways. Sure glad I snapped out of that.

Now every time I feel the hell we are living in closing in around me I go to the garden for comfort. I plant flowering trees and shrubs for past loved ones and have begun doing the same for world events. It is not hardly a drop in the bucket in the large picture of things, but it is something. As the pollinators are disappearing from the world I think it is more important than ever to do my part for them. There is so much beauty from watching the close relationship of everything that is around us. It is so shocking to me that people tend to think that nature is something separate from them.

O.k. before this turns into a full blown rant about the evils of the world I will leave it at this. Picture below is of a poppy that I planted from seed and reseeds every year now. The bees love them. They roll around in them in a way that looks like puppies playing in the grass. Happy gardening for 2015 everyone :flowers:
 

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HowToBe

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
And a lovely photograph as usual! :) I've only just started so I'm not sure if it's for me or not yet, but at the very least it gets me outside and maybe serves as a bit of "nature therapy" each day. ;)
 

Horseofadifferentcolor

Jedi Council Member
The wildflowers are starting to grow and bud. Spring is on its way. Thank goodness. Even spring time birds are already picking out nesting spots. It is still very early, but it is great to see life.
 

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Dylan

Jedi
I love being outside and connected to nature. I have been working on a community garden in my neighbourhood since 2013 and it looks like we will finally have it launched this spring!

As an arborist, my connection to nature is quite literal at times, and I am thankful that I have a job which allows me
pay the bills and be in the trees at the same time! Sometimes I cut them down, but it is a dance I have become quite proficient at and will walk away or really try to save trees that don't need to be cut down. On the other hand, I have and will continue to remove trees for people whose biggest complaints are the mess from needles and leaves et al. I like the act of removing a tree piecemeal with ropes or felling it whole. And trees are a renewable; we use the wood to heat homes and the chipped materials for...gardens! I am at peace with my role in nature as an agent of destruction, because it is part of the balance. I have paid to have wood craned out to be utilized by sawyers who make excellent wood products from the urban trees which people sometimes remove for supercilious reasons, and I plant trees at schools, in city lots and so on that cost me money but assuage my guilt over removing trees which don necessarily need to be removed.

I am working on the community garden with and advocate of food forest systems and that is how it will be structured. Trees provide the bones of a garden so to speak and weave a mysterious web of connections which balance both the entropic and creative principles of our reality. It is through casting off the blinders of my preconceived notions and schooling in the art of Arboriculture that I have really come to see nature as a great teacher and example for the way in which humans can coexist. A tree might harbour decay pathogens that will eventually destroy it, but in the meantime it will generate thousands of offspring that will begin life in an environment directly around the tree which has been 'worked' to yield a nurturing environment special made for the particular species. This is done through an 'inescapable network of mutuality' in which all parts of the particular system affect the others.

One interesting observation I have is that it is primarily the cultural conditions of trees which are responsible for the natural system trees are genetically inclined to make that leads to their demise and their removal. That is to say, it is human misconception of the intricate nature of the reality of ecosystems dominated by these most noble of plants that leads people to declare them a risk or a nuisance to the point at which they decide to destroy them.
 

Horseofadifferentcolor

Jedi Council Member
Thank you for sharing Dylan. I do a lot of work with invasive trees and have had a bit of moral struggle with the killing part. Who am I to say? Nice to hear about your thoughts on this work. It is unfortunate that horticulture in general has gone to the blow, mow, and go crews that make everything look like lollypops. I can see how even in this aspect of life has been tainted. I no longer can compete with the prices on crews of cheap workers. It is unfortunate for the home owners that employ them, it is unfortunate that their labor barley pays the bills, and it is unfortunate that botany itself seems to be a lost art.
 

Dylan

Jedi
There are always clients who appreciate high quality work, service and a personal relationship with a small, locally owned business. I don't even try to conpete with the larger companies, and the little guys who work for cheap are like flies...they won't last. I didn't realize that gardening is your trade, but that's awesome. My mentor was a journeyman gardener, so I was given a different perspective into the secret world of plants through my apprenticeship.

Another cool thing about my job is that I work primarily for private home owners, so I see a lot of backyards and a lot of gardens. I try and get as much insight by talking with the client about their garden or simply observing their techniques.

Anyways, I am very keen to get outside and garden this year!
 

HowToBe

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I think a link to the "Positive Dissociation?" thread ought to go here for reference. I'll admit I only read part of it a long while back, but this thread keeps reminding me of it.
 

Thaigrr

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
HowToBe said:
I think a link to the "Positive Dissociation?" thread ought to go here for reference. I'll admit I only read part of it a long while back, but this thread keeps reminding me of it.
What a fabulous suggestion! Since gardening is such a positive endeavor, your suggestion is perfect. :flowers:
 

Horseofadifferentcolor

Jedi Council Member
HowToBe said:
I think a link to the "Positive Dissociation?" thread ought to go here for reference. I'll admit I only read part of it a long while back, but this thread keeps reminding me of it.
Have you caught the gardening bug? This might be serious! You should plant lots of seeds to thwart this awful plague. Flowering natives I hear are the best to cure you of your ills :P
 

HowToBe

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
:whistle:
Horseofadifferentcolor said:
HowToBe said:
I think a link to the "Positive Dissociation?" thread ought to go here for reference. I'll admit I only read part of it a long while back, but this thread keeps reminding me of it.
Have you caught the gardening bug? This might be serious! You should plant lots of seeds to thwart this awful plague. Flowering natives I hear are the best to cure you of your ills :P
For the moment I will only say one thing: the compost pile exists. :whistle:
 

petite femme

Padawan Learner
I have been gardening for the first time this year. I love it. There's nothing like eating fresh veggies that you grew, with love and attentiveness! I enjoy walking down to my garden every morning just to look at it and asses how everything is growing. I have to say, it may be a mild form of disassociation, but it seems a practical endeavor as well. All the veggies I enjoy to eat are being provided by the garden I put together and tended all summer. It has taken a little time away from my studies and research, but I love being outside in the summer time and this is a very practical way to enjoy the outdoors, osis. It has forced me to be a little more conscious about how I spend my time!! No more idle daydreaming or watching of tv, I just dont have the time. It is a lot of work too! So i have to be disciplined, and do the hard work of weeding and raking when it needs doing! I had never done it before, so there is a lot of research and study involved so lots of learning as well! All in all, I am very glad I decided to go for it, it has been quite an experience!
 

Horseofadifferentcolor

Jedi Council Member
petite femme said:
I had never done it before, so there is a lot of research and study involved so lots of learning as well! All in all, I am very glad I decided to go for it, it has been quite an experience!
I am glad you are enjoying yourself and learning. I could not imagine life without gardening. Great workout in the sun and fire ant bites. What more could you ask for? It is a great skill to have. I am still learning how to veggie garden in my micro climate. I have gardened in this area my whole life, but we now live at a very high elevation with no protection from the drying winds and no soil at all. I have spent a lot of time bringing in soil and making my own.
I get what your saying about walking out in the morning just to look at everything. It is so exciting to see new growth or blooms on things. My favorite thing to do is to work hard and then sit back and relax and take a look at everything and start daydreaming about what I will do next year. One of the things I have learned the most from, is when I mess up. At first I found this very disheartening but I now see it as learning.

Cheers to having fun and making food :flowers:
 
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