“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
– Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers, Inc.
Our society has many unrealistic expectations, and often, our mental health suffers from the weight of it all. While our home gardens should be a place for healing, the quest for landscape perfection can often steal our joy.
Perfectly shorn turfgrass and immaculately trimmed hedges have been the hallmark of the ideal traditional residential landscape for decades. These landscapes feel dated and are often nearly lifeless except for hordes of pest insects and diseases. A healthy ecosystem and sound horticultural practices are afterthoughts at best. Meanwhile, plants decline, and native wildlife, especially birds and beneficial insects, struggle to find enough food to remain.
Bottom line: Perfect gardens suck. They are neither realistic nor sustainable.
A paradigm shift in urban and suburban landscape horticulture is emerging as many brave gardeners are rebelling against traditional landscape expectations to create beautiful, vibrant, healthy landscapes that are sustainable, environmentally friendly, interesting, and, best of all, easy to implement and manage. (Read about how this Charleston County resident embraces native plants in his home landscape.)
Changing perceptions and expectations for residential, commercial, or campus (Corporate Landscaping Lets Its Hair Down) landscapes requires stepping outside of our comfort zones. Fortunately, the solution can be as easy as relaxing our home gardening expectations and allowing the natural world to do what it does; take care of itself.
Lazy gardener readers may recognize common blog themes, including healthy soil, right plant/right place, native plants, sound horticultural maintenance practices, and minimal chemical inputs. Some may think these topics are too elementary. But gardening doesn’t have to be complicated. (Be a Lazy Gardener and K.I.S.S. for Healthy Plants) Be assured that mastering the basics will enhance your gardening enjoyment and efforts.