Gardening is not a dying art

An old copy of the Queensland Garden Annual, 6th edition, recently came into my possession. Its aged pages, tinted yellow with time, and the worn cover adorned with handwritten notes spoke volumes about its history. Dating back at least 50 years, this book served as a treasure trove of gardening knowledge, though some of its ideas may now be outdated. Nonetheless, it remains a valuable reference, reflecting the evolution of gardening practices over the decades.

Half a century ago, the gardening landscape was vastly different. House blocks were generally larger, featuring smaller homes that left ample space for gardens and even the keeping of a few chickens. In contrast, today’s suburban areas boast smaller plots, necessitating larger houses to accommodate the demands of modern living. As a result, traditional backyard gardens have given way to outdoor entertainment areas, such as barbecues and outdoor kitchens, leaving limited space for gardening pursuits.

Despite these changes, gardening continues to hold a special place in the hearts of many. While the available space for traditional gardens may have diminished, there’s still a palpable enthusiasm for gardening evident in the extensive gardening sections of major retail stores. People still enjoy getting their hands dirty, experimenting with different plants, and nurturing flowers and trees, albeit on a more limited scale.

As we approach March, the age-old adage “time and tide wait for no man” rings true. It’s the perfect time to venture into the garden and sow the seeds of easy-to-grow vegetables and flowers. Whether it’s lettuce, tomatoes, parsley, or silver beet for the kitchen or alyssum, begonia, carnation, or gerbera for a splash of color, there’s something inherently satisfying about growing plants from seed.

While gardening can be physically demanding, there are ways to make it more manageable. By embracing innovative gardening techniques and adapting to changing circumstances, we can ensure that the art of gardening continues to thrive, even in the face of evolving urban landscapes.

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