Friday, January 23, 2009

What is a Gardener? by KCB

KCB is a professional gardener and friend who does wonderful work in the Greater Portland area. KCB is also an accredited Master Gardener by the Cooperative Extension Service and we are proud to tell you that KCB rules as the 2008 Maine Master Gardener of the Year. And we are honored to have KCB as part of our Skillin's Garden Log family.

What is a Gardener? Unabridged (v 1.1) lists as their second definition, ‘any person who gardens or is skillful in gardening’. I am grateful that the definition utilizes the conjunction ‘or’ instead of ‘and’ as for me, not sure if skill has much to do with it.

Skill seems so technical, mechanical. So allow me to check another definition: skill–noun 1. ‘The ability, coming from one's knowledge, practice, aptitude, etc., to do something well’.

Having discovered the book definitions of ‘Gardener’ and ‘Skill’ indulge me while I offer my definition of a gardener as ‘One who Gardens’.

Simple enough? Yet it still doesn’t feel right. To borrow a line from the Jimmy Buffett song, Manana ‘Don't try to describe the ocean if you've never seen itDon't ever forget that you just may wind up being wrong.’ Nevertheless I’ve seen the ocean yet I often can not find the words to describe all it encompasses. I am a gardener yet am humbled by the term. How can one word describe so much?

Last week I attended a function that all in attendance were gardeners. It is no secret that I have the honor of being a Master Gardener as part of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The more events I attend, the more projects I participate in and the more I surround myself with other like souls I realize a gardener is so much more than ‘one who gardens’. The same feeling washes over me with every class I facilitate, every trade show I visit.

So what is it that I am trying to say? A gardener, to a great extent, does more than tends a garden.

Gardeners are passionate. We love life or else we wouldn’t dirty ourselves making things grow. We are generous as we wouldn’t welcome the opportunity to share our successes and mishaps so others may benefit. We are artistic as we are sensitive to the aesthetic beauty that is nature. We are patient as who else can put a part of what they are on hold until the weather breaks. Or wait for the first bud and bloom. We are lovers of wildlife as we plant for butterfly, bee and bird and welcome them to partake of our efforts. We love to eat as to why else grow our own food. We are hard workers with no further explanation needed.

Gardeners are believers in all that is good, why else would we start gardening in the first place especially in a climate that can be less than ideal. Above all, Gardeners believe in ourselves. In our ability to assist mother nature to bring forth life from the land. Lesser people take what is offered but we offer so that others may take and enjoy.

In time our bodies may not always cooperate, for others it may be a change in real estate or the combination of both. Nevertheless we garden, in containers, window sills, vicariously through others and perhaps solely in our hearts.

Gardeners are people--People who persevere. No matter who is in The White House, or the state of the economy we do what we feel we are meant to do.

Please indulge me once more while I say,

God Bless Gardeners and
God Bless America!

KCB for Skillin's Greenhouses
January 23, 2009

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