Gardening 101 – And You Don't Have To Be A Gardener To Understand
Living in the downtown of a city may have its benefits but to one who loves to dig in the dirt it does have a few drawbacks.
Living in the third oldest house in the downtown the land is very old, compressed, and because the lack of new growth recycling into the old missing are the essential nutrients to bring forth a healthy vibrant garden.
Because of this, and a lot of other factors that has to do with the lot size and angle of the Sun, I have decided to create a raised-bed garden.
As I explain the technique I have used to create my garden much of what I am about to put forth may be a review for some and a revelation for others it all depends upon your level of understanding or expertise.
Although much of what I am to put forth is intended for the serious gardener, the beginner will probably benefit more as they are not already locked in a know it all mindset.
Some of my words may come across as solemn, but that seriousness should in no way hinder the beauty one will find in its execution, serious only in the sense you would be amazed how one little mistake in the soil composition, weed control, or even placement can and will effect the results.
Much of what I'm going to share with you is from a very secret tradition of gardeners, a tradition that dates itself far in the unknown past. In this tradition I am considered a Master, and by the time your done reading what I have to share you also shall share in the secrets afforded only the Master.
Step by step we will walk together building our garden from scratch, examining every aspect of our garden from every direction. Together we shall discover the in's and out's Master gardening, and in the process I will reveal some of the secrets necessary for you to break free and explore a depth of gardening that was actually within you the whole time.
Before we even dig in the ground we have to take in consideration its placement in proximity to the Sun. This may seem the most basic statement made, yet you would be surprised how many beginners do not realize the cardinal points when they chose the placement of their garden.
The morning Sun rises in the East, is at its peak in the South, and sets in the West. The North is usually associated with shade. Each and every plant requires a certain amount of Sun each day, the more Sun required the closer to the South the plant should be placed.
Without confusing the reader it should also be noted that in the midsummer months the Sun is at its brightest and subsequently the hottest when South facing, care should be taken as to not burning tender and new plants, not all plants can handle the heat for long periods without a cooling period, here's where the Master gardener learns to balance the elements of heat and cold, just the right amount of Sun just the right amount of shade.
Here's something very few gardener's take into consideration, the four classical elements. Knowledge of these elements is a key to taking the garden to another level.
The Earth is primarily dry, and secondary cold, Water is primarily cold and secondary wet, the Sun, or what I like to call Fire is primarily hot and secondary dry, and the one element rarely discussed and no less important to Master gardening is Air which is primarily wet and secondarily hot.
Earth and Water are said to be ‘passive’ and ‘heavy’, while Air and Fire are said to be ‘active’ and ‘light’. You may wonder why this is important to gardening, all will become clear as we proceed, Master gardening is the ability to reach levels above and beyond the grasp of the everyday gardener.
Fire is hot and dry and with the addition of coolness becomes Earth.“When thou hast made the quadrangle round,Then is all the secret found.”...George Ripley (d. 1490)
If you look closely at the diagram above understanding the Rotation of the Elements and how the influence of the Sun plays into it will assist you in taken your garden to level beyond the dig a hole put a plant into level. You'll actually begin to see Harmony.
Lets go through a typical summer day, the Sun rises in the East greeting the damp Earth which was cooled down by the night. Every walk outside in the morning and see that the grass is all wet, even though it didn't rain? The water comes from the dew that formed overnight. In the night hours, air temperature usually cools down. Everything in nature cools at a different speed, but usually plants don't need a lot of time to drop in temperature. The cooler air around these things causes condensation, water, to form on their surface. This is the dew, known as the Morning Dew, we see shining on the grass in the early morning hours.
“How cunningly nature hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses and violets and morning dew!”...Ralph Waldo Emerson
As the rises to its meridian height, its highest point in the South the Air has been heated by the Fire of the Sun. The Morning Dew has evaporated as we have approached the noontime heat.
“The sun shines down from meridian height,
And illumines the depths of the sea.
Cry out the fishes, beginning to sweat,
"Oh, dammit, how hot we shall be!" ...John Keats
Not all plants love the noonday Sun, its just the way it is, there is nothing worse than a gardener trying to plant a shade loving plant in direct uninterrupted Sun. It just doesn't work, everything in nature has its place. As we are the creators of our garden we should respect our plants enough as to let prosper where they may.
As the Sun and the Heat of the day begins to decline to the West, the soil of our garden is now approaching its Dry time. The Sun sets in the West to close the day, the night will now cool down the Earth.
The more one refers to the diagram of the Rotation of Elements the more wisdom one will attain.
The more you expose yourself to the secret tradition and its symbols the more nature will reveal its secrets to you. Slowly I will reveal just what I'm allowed too. I have complete confidence that I will introduce you to enough of my tradition that you will actually be able to take it to a level equal to mine and maybe beyond.