Yin and yang gardening

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?

5 thoughts on “Yin and yang gardening”

  1. A very thought-provoking post. I have an elderly friend in England who has just turned her entire front lawn into productive vegetable in large tubs. Her husband, who had never been very interested in the garden prior to this is just loving the new project and they are enjoying the fruits (or vegies…lol) of their labours.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the feast of colour from the tulips.

    What country are you in? I could probably find the answer by scrolling through and reading your blog, which I will do shortly.

  2. Okay, I found your location, which is just up the road a thousand or so kilometres. I will add you to my favourites now.

  3. I have never thought of this before, but it sure seems to make sense. I really liked reading your blog and also about water conservation and graywater use.

  4. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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