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a place of your own

sun, shade and the caprices of weather

What is good weather? That is a very good question for a gardener. Some places are blessed with conditions that make plants thrive despite complete lack of interest or effort. People who for years tried unsuccessfully to grow a garden watch with incredulous envy out of their car windows the never ending wild meadows just exploding with colorful fragrant blooms.

Every frustrated gardener, at least at one point in his life, made negative comments regarding his garden’s poor soil, inadequate precipitation, amount of insolation, plant material quality and other people’s better luck. Sometimes they are right. The seasoned veteran will preach that there is no garden that can not be made beautiful with enough patience, knowledge and correction of the offending faults.

The truth is that sometimes it just works, for no definable reason. You plant things together and they support and shade each other, they exchange vital nutrients and they layer their leaves to shade their intertwined roots and protect the water in the soil. They naturally keep the weeds away, because under their dense leaf umbrella, not even weeds have a chance to develop. A hierarchy develops with time and each plant gets just the right amount of sunlight and water. The whole plant group becomes a system in equilibrium, self sustaining almost (and in some cases it really is).  This is the image one sees in established gardens, a conglomerate of such systems, in perfect harmony with each other, looking like they have been there forever. Once the plants stake their ground in your garden, good luck trying to uproot them. But why would you try to disturb a working element in such a sensitive biological system?

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