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April 24 , 2009

Connectedness in the Garden


The art of ‘connectedness’ is something new and different. I like those connotations and want to be part of them. Sure there are risks of some kind, but also a surprise and reward, and they could be worth the experience.
That is why I wrote ‘Connectedness to the Garden’ as an adjunct to the publication, ‘Connections to the Earth’. I wanted to express the idea a garden offers an alternative to a world of our making, symbolised as becoming locked within walls of glass, concrete and steel, and unable to reach and touch the raw Earth. We can return to it by simply walking through a door, and stepping into a garden.
It is not through the waving of a magical wand to leave one world behind by simply stepping through one door to enter another, but it helps, and through a wantonness to connect, we leave one world to enter another. There’s nothing wrong in becoming a gardener if it is there to provide that solution. Just like putting on a favourite gardening hat, our distinct gardening attire, and those shoes that seem to be at home in the garden and nowhere else, picking up a gardening fork or whatever, and go out there and garden.
Is the pursuit of gardening an art form and pathway to connectedness?
Maybe it is expressed by going out there and getting the hands dirty or admiring a flower on a plant; something personal and potentially spiritual. Maybe it is about nature, joining with it and being within and absorbing the gardens energy. Being close to and experiencing the wonderment of nature; surely that is an art from!
Gardening remains a popular recreational activity, and practiced in whatever climate, whatever location, in whatever size or configuration, and within whatever soils. The area of a garden could be profound and go beyond what the eye can see or occupy a few square feet. Garden styles are endless and represent the land, culture and personalities of those who attend to them.
Walking along a suburban street introduces the gardens that face the street, and collectively they image the character of the neighbourhood, but subtle differences are to be seen and represent something of their owner. The images present symbols of ‘connectedness’, be they intense or obscure.
Connectedness to the garden maybe something basic such as tending to some plants in a tub or growing something we fancy such as herbs, vegetables, fruits, flowers, annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs, and many gardeners seek to mix and match them all, a challenge between us and the land, a footprint of some sort and achievement when it comes to meet us.
I’ve presented some topics to personalise connectedness with the garden and suggest the garden provides us with an opportunity to connect with nature through a gardens scents, sounds, taste and touch, and the bonus of sharing the garden’s visual delights alongside those of other creatures such as birds and insects. I like to visualise a gardens connectedness as something deeper, maybe spiritual as our personal connection becomes more intimate.
My interest in Feng Shui is presented to remove some of Feng Shui mysteries. I like to visualise the garden as something of Chi, Yin and Yang, and something that Eastern gardening styles portrait. Such gardens invite connectedness and are fluid in their expression, although any garden wherever, has an ability to offer connectedness. I found Chi does offer connectedness and opens a door to some secrets of nature!
I’m suggesting the gardener is offered a chance meeting with connectedness, for connectedness comes to us when part of our mind joins with its surroundings. We can take it, run with it and become absorbed within it; then we have separated from outsides worlds, and that is worth the risk.

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