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A garden that's just right for you

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Inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, Greece (home of the Oracle) is the cautionary proverb, "Know Thyself." It's good gardening advice, as well.

Have you ever visited a garden that just seemed to resonate with you, where the atmosphere of the garden appeared to total more than the sum of its parts? You can produce that kind of magical quality in your own garden, too, but it doesn't happen by accident. It starts with looking inside yourself and understanding who you are with respect to the natural world and how you approach the gardening process.

Know why you garden

For example, someone who views the garden from a decorator's outlook may see plants and flowers as interchangeable, disposable, masses of color, textures, patterns, and vertical accents, or possibly, the essentials of a cutting garden to produce flowers for indoors..

Environmentalists will be concerned about using gardening methods that require less water, fewer synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, will want to introduce or preserve native plants, and will work on restoring the ecosystems where they live.

A photographer may be most interested in growing picture-perfect flowers, specimen plants, or in staging vignettes of ornaments, plants, furniture, and hardscape.

Gardeners generally think that they simply enjoy being outdoors and involved with plants, but typically there are a number of other reasons, conscious and subconscious, behind the impulse to garden. One of them originates in our earliest years.

Tap into your childhood memories


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