A question of philosophy
In a discussion in another thread on whether to strip or not strip diseased leaves someone mentioned that her approach was a question of philosophy. It got me thinking. What else about one's approach to gardening was determined by closely held principles and beliefs, rather than mere practicality? For most of us I suspect the answer would be, quite a lot.
My own intention is to grow a garden that is compatible with the natural areas outside the fence in that it is not dependent on heavy chemical assistance, but still I am creating a distinctly artificial construct. It is a garden. It is definitely not a natural landscape, lovely though a natural landscape can be.
In fact I have planted a number of native trees and native flowering shrubs outside the fenced area to host birds and beneficial insects. It is my hope that these plants will be able to get by in drought years (or drought decades) without human assistance once they are established. Included in the planting scheme are multiple oaks, incense cedars, manzanitas, ceanothus, ribes, toyons, salvias, and assorted others. There are even a few highly drought tolerant non-native trees from similar climates elsewhere, Arizona cypress, Afghan pine, and deodar cedar being the ones that come to mind. Despite my including a few exotic trees, that area more closely replicates a natural landscape in plant material.
However inside the fence I deliberately planted a place apart from the world, my own private Eden of flowers and fragrance. I think of it as the real world manifestation of the world of my imagination. It may not be the most beautiful garden I have ever seen, but it is surely the one that holds my heart.