I’ve been starting to think of gardening as a balancing act of yin and yang activities.
Most of us see the garden as a wild unruly child that needs to be tamed. So we approach the garden with destructive activities like mowing, pruning, weeding and spraying. Basically we are fighting an uphill battle against nature. The outcomes of our actions are short-lived and lead to high maintenance gardens.
Matt loves the mowing and pruning. I wonder if all men are naturally drawn to these yang activities?
Lately, I’ve been trying to work with nature and undertake more productive activities. Permaculture encourages us to view the garden as an ecosystem and work towards long term outcomes. Ying activities include sowing seeds, planting in seedlings and perennials. Using native and indigenous (local) plants. Selecting hedge plants that can also act as wind breaks, provide shade or resist fires.
The dots in the yin and yang are the recycling activities. It is seeing the good in the bad. It is about using and valuing renewable resources and producing no waste. Example activities include composting, using manure and mulch and keeping a worm farm.
When our garden reflects an equal measure of destructive (yang) and productive (yin) activities, the environment will be in balance and self-regulating. In a mature ecosystem if a type of pest gets out of hand, predators will keep them in check without the need for pesticides.
According to the Spotless authors, men and women approach cleaning differently. I wonder if we also approach gardening in different but complementary ways?