Slow Gardening: A No-Stress Philosophy for all Senses and Seasons
By Felder Rushing
Thanks to the resurgence of home and community gardening, more and more people are discovering the pleasure of biting into a sun-ripened tomato picked right off the vine, the earthy smell of freshly turned soil, and the cheerful harbingers of spring such as daffodils, irises, and pansies. But they are also discovering that gardening can be a heck of a lot of work. So what happens when keeping up with the weeds turns into a full-time job? What do you do when gardening becomes stressful? Slow Gardening to the rescue! Inspired
by Slow Food, an international movement that promotes local food systems and biological and cultural diversity, the slow-gardening approach can help us all appreciate and enjoy our gardens more, year in and year out.
Doing something slowly means savoring what you do. However, in just a few generations, we’ve gone from eating mostly home-cooked food and gardening with mostly local resources to a fast-food culture and cookie-cutter “mow-and-blow” landscapes filled with unproductive and high-maintenance plants from afar. Sure, we’ve shed a lot of the menial labor it takes to put both food on the table and flowers in the garden, but at what cost to the Earth, and our own bodies?
Felder Rushing, a truly one-of-a-kind garden expert, offers this practical yet philosophical approach to gardening – one that will help you slow down, take stock of your yard, and follow your own creative whimsy in the garden. Slow Gardening will inspire you to slip into the rhythm of the seasons, take it easy, and get more enjoyment out of your garden, all at the same time.
An excerpt from Slow Gardening
Some Slow Gardening Tenets:
People often get bogged down with the details of life, seeing everything as a confusing morass of intricacies –like a ball of rubber bands.
This book attempts to “de-construct” gardening into simple acts that are in themselves only tools for attaining the bigger goal of savoring our lives.
Here are a few of the basic concepts or tenets of Slow Gardening:
Take it easy. Slow doesn’t necessarily mean simple or lazy. In fact, it can actually involve more work, just spread out over time in a leisurely fashion. It’s a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other approach similar to preparing regular, interesting meals at home.
There is no need to get hung up about the rules of garden design and step-by-step instructions in gardening how-to books. You can be cussedly independent, contemplative, unhurried, and unworried. Be in it for the fun, and take your time about it.
Don’t be paralyzed by what you’re not doing right, or by what you think you ought to do. Slow Gardening does not discriminate based on materials, personal style, or level or interest or expertise.
Along these lines, Slow Gardening is less about style, and more a way of being in tune with whatever rings your bell. Slow Gardeners might be hard-core green gardeners with a penchant for native plants and sustainable methods, or sharply focused lawn fanatics, daylily collectors, or people who just love to grow tomatoes. They’re not trying to get anywhere, since they have already reached their destination. If it thrills you and you’re doing it, that’s Slow Gardening.
Felder Rushing is a tenth-generation American gardener, raised into his teen years under the apprenticeship of a horticulturist great-grandmother who grew flowers, vegetables, herbs, and fruits without a hose or pesticides, and a garden club grandmother who garnered hundreds of blue ribbons for her plant breeding and displays.
Slow Gardening: A No-Stress Philosophy for all Senses and Seasons By Felder Rushing
Chelsea Green Publishing
Copyright 2011 Softcover, 220 pages, $29.95 USD