Attaining Mastery, Or Not

By Amy Grant | April 2, 2021
Image by Cheryl Ramalho
by Amy Grant
April 2, 2021

I love to garden and if I had my druthers, weather permitting, I would be puttering about every day, but that doesn’t mean I know everything. Far from it in fact. This leads me to wonder if I will ever master the art of gardening because “art” it is indeed, at least in part. 

The Art of Gardening

Certainly a stunning garden perfectly composed is a work of art as much as a Monet painting, but I don’t even know if that is what I want to achieve. If I were to master this art of gardening, then what?  

Anyway, I don’t really see anything in life as being “mastered.”  Life is all about learning, and we only really quit learning when we die… or at least that is my mindset. The beauty of gardening is that there really is an infinite number of things to learn. One might be specialized in pruning fruit trees for instance, but how about the treatment of the myriad diseases or insect pests that might afflict the trees. 

Or go beyond the definition of gardening which is “the activity of tending and cultivating a garden.” Think about all the crafts and aromatics that can be made, medicinal and culinary uses, and havens for wildlife that a garden provides. Seems to me there are unending areas of gardening when thought about in this manner that would take a lifetime to learn. 

Art is Open-Ended

The wonderful thing about a garden is it’s never “done.” The passionate gardener does always want to learn new things; sometimes by rote but more often than not by trial and error. 

Again, I don’t know everything. Quite the contrary. But to me, gardening is as much a science project as an artistic creation; one that can be carried on through a lifetime of learning. If that is the case, I will be content never to master the art of gardening.

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