In the Garden:
Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
March, 2004
Regional Report

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Starting new seedlings in a garden is just the beginning of new friendships among its gardeners.

Power of Gardening: Local and Global

Some of us just want to play in the garden, making mud patties and munching on beets and corn just pulled from the soil or stalk. Others want to help gardeners grow more of their own food, to help them become more sustainable in their day-to-day survival.

Weary of the world and its daily tribulations? Head for the garden to be drawn into the calm ... lush green foliage, brilliant blooms, rustling leaves, dribbling fountains ... the emotionally healing murmur of the garden. Share the refreshment with your neighbors, on a bench or rock, squiggling your toes in the grass or mulch, nibbling on a strawberry or a rose petal, at peace. Join with them in harvesting a bounty and then preparing a communal picnic or taking it to a soup kitchen.

The mystery and faith of gardening -- sowing that little speck of a seed, watching its bit of germinating green become a stem with leaves and then ultimately evolve into a tomato or sunflower -- bespeaks the wonder of life.

Likewise, sharing the joy of gardening -- the daily or weekly gathering together to nurture the little plants into food- and flower-producing wonders -- builds inclusive communities from separate individuals, whether intergenerational, interracial, or crossing lines of profession. The garden is the great leveler; all of us are beginners and adventurers, equally thrilled with an emerging sprout and butterfly, delighted with learning a new technique, eagerly anticipating the harvest, and thankfully turning it all in as the first investment in next year's garden.

From personal and inner-directed to widespread and outer-offering, alone or with neighbors, the garden becomes the substance of generosity of spirit, a present to yourself and to the world. Gardens can be all things to all people. They are for each individual to discover and relish.


Care to share your gardening thoughts, insights, triumphs, or disappointments with your fellow gardening enthusiasts? Join the lively discussions on our FaceBook page and receive free daily tips!

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