While visiting the Sloat Garden Center at Sloat Boulevard-San Francisco, I interacted with different people who own gardens, and from our brief interactions, I acquired vast information on what is a garden and why people garden. I was especially drawn to two people, one an older woman, Sue, in her fifties and another a young couple, Mark and Ella, in their late twenties, and following a brief interview with them, I acquired immense information surrounding gardens and the practice of gardening. On my way home, I interviewed my neighbor, Milley, who has a beautiful garden in her front yard and is always tending to her garden quite often. Therefore, this account follows a compilation of the information acquired from the three interviews on all details about the practice of gardening.
All three people that I interviewed maintained that a garden is a small piece of land often adjoining a house on which flowers, plants, grass, or shrubs are grown. Sue added that a garden is a piece of land allocated for the display of various plants, flowers, or grass often for aesthetics or commercial purposes. On the other hand, Milley noted that unlike a farm that occupies a vast amount of land, a garden only takes up a small space and can even be done indoors as long as it meets its intended purpose. Lastly, Mark and Ella noted that unlike a farm that is cultivated for commercial or food purposes, a garden is frequently maintained so that it does not lose its aesthetic value. Therefore, generally, from the responses acquired, it is evident that a garden is a piece of land that is allocated either for the cultivation or display of various plants of nature, and it incorporates both natural and human-made plants.
In the broader sense, gardening is thus the practice of maintaining a garden. Ideally, gardening is termed as a very significant practice because it contributes to a healthier environment through the production of oxygen and the production of more greenery. Upon asking my participants why they gardened, they offered varied reasons as to why they practice gardening. Sue started by noting that she has been gardening for as long as she can remember. As a child, she grew up in a homestead that loved flowers, and hence her mother started a small garden where she planted all her favorite flowers. Thus, Sue quickly picked up the practice of gardening from a young age, and when she moved into her place, she was already accustomed to having a garden that she could not stand not having her own small piece of garden. For her, therefore, gardening started as a family custom that she carried on; however, with time, she realized that she found peace and calm through the practice that she could not stop. Hence, gardening for her serves as a means for her to commune with nature as she finds delight in plants and flowers. Also, Sue maintained that it is very satisfying to see something grow, and she loves watching how her flowers and plants blossom. Three, her garden serves as her downright meditative, terming it as “Gardening is food for the soul.” Four, her garden serves as her escape where whenever something is bugging, she resorts to pruning. Lastly, gardening makes her world beautiful, whereby just looking at her garden every day, she loves how beautiful everything has turned out.
Upon asking Mark and Ella why they garden, they noted that the main reason that the garden is that it guarantees them of healthy food right at their backdoor. The young couple indicated that they are 100% vegetarian, and hence as a means to keep track of their health, they prefer having all their food supplies from their garden. Ella was especially concerned about the growing concerns of chemicals in food supply chains and their effects and hence preferred having her small garden so that she can keep track of their food. Also, she added that she loves fresh vegetables as they are higher in nutrients. Therefore, their small garden assures them that they not only get fresh foods but also that the food is thoroughly safe and nutrient-dense. Additionally, Ella added her garden serves as her mark of achievement, where by tracking the growth of her plants, she gets a great sense of self-satisfaction and personal growth.
Lastly, upon asking Milley why she gardened, she provided two answers for aesthetics and second to expand her horizon. Concerning aesthetics, Milley maintained that a house that flows with foliage of flowers and vegetables is picture perfect and beautiful to view. According to Milley, she loves the richness that comes with growing plants, flowers, and vegetables, and the sight is also soothing and appealing. She has especially received endless compliments on how beautiful her garden is, and hence she loves the view and aesthetics that her garden attracts. Second, her garden has dramatically expanded her horizon, where she keeps trying out new vegetables to see their full potential. On the same note, also, her garden has made it possible for her to actively interact with other gardeners in garden clubs, supply stores, and plant organizations, and this has increased her knowledge of the overall cat of gardening.
In conclusion, the interview on the practice of gardening was overall very successful, and the responses acquired increased my mind-scope and will go a long way in helping me to start and tend to my small garden in the future.