A garden is a garden is a garden ... Thank you, Ms. Stein

The Garden Fairy

Plants grouped together to form a space of color, texture, scent and taste can take a person into another world. So when deciding what to put into your garden this spring, I invite you to think about the senses. Nothing compares to the scent of a rose, a peony, lavender, thyme, rosemary. Nothing settles the nerves more for me than to take in a deep breath and get the faint smell of lilac in the spring breeze.  Sense memory is very powerful. When the senses are aroused, especially the scent of smell, we are transported.

When I first started to garden, I would always have rosemary and lavender in my designs. Rosemary, known as the herb of remembrance, goes so far back in time. It actually does something to the brain, just like lavender does. It is a scientific fact that lavender calms the nerves. So why not have a few plants in your garden that bring back memories and heal your body, mind and soul.

Speaking of body, edibles are still the thing. With all the corporate occupation of our farmers and farmland using GMO seeds, it is more important than ever to work for food security. What better way than to grow your own produce. Now, some of you might scoff or chuckle here because all you have is a small balcony, but let me say even if you only have a window sill with a small pot of herbs for cooking, you are taking control. You are taking care of plants. I apologize for sounding like the garden master here, but the atmosphere as well as the planet needs us to grow green things.

The more we take part in "taking care", in nurturing green life, the more of a chance our friendly birds, bees, worms and other friends  can get it on...And, the more likely we will survive and thrive. See how a garden (or growing things) can invoke images and emotions? It really is all connected in so many ways...


I have a client that I am working with that really inspired me. His next door neighbor is totally remodeling his home. The neighbor is from Australia. The neighbor will be planting several native grasses to get the feel of his homeland. My client didn't want is newly designed garden to be so obviously different, because the design we came up with was going to be way different ....So he asked if I could add a few things so that there would be some continuity in the landscape. He made a valid point. He doesn't like how urban yards are so different from yard to yard..I will be adding a few small grasses to his plan just so the yards connect on a small scale. I think his neighbor and he will connect as well.

A design is a design is a design....Simple..What you want in your garden is all up to you. You can make it a desert, or a lush green forest. You can grow nothing but vegetables and herbs...You can have a modern minimum look, or an old English garden ..

It really is up to you. The question is not, " How does your garden grow. The better question is, "What can your garden grow?"

Of course, the answer is up to you.

Frank Asher is the Director of OLD CITY Farm and Guild. "Where people and plants come together." www.oldcityfarmandguild.com/ oldcityfarm@gmail.com

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