Garden Gnome Ecosystems

Creating a sustainable system for gnomes to play in.

Grow Write Guild Post #2: Dream Garden


Another Grow Write Guild post, as prompted by Gayla over at You Grow Girl.


This one’s a challenge for me.  A professor recently recommended that I read The Other Side of Eden by Hugh Brody. Just previous to that, I stumbled on Toby Hemenway’s video, discussing the cultural impacts of agriculture.

Both have left me reeling.  I want, so desperately, to have a piece of land to call my home, my own.  I want control.  

These works have challenged me to look at the world as something that, perhaps, no one can own.  Damn it, I don’t want to share.  I want a room all to myself at home.  I want a garden all to myself in my front yard.  I’ll welcome visitors, but I want to the final say as to which plants go where.

But more than that, I want a society in which people are treated in an equitable manner.  I want respect for all nations, all genders, all ages.  I want to be part of the change.  And that might mean giving up the dream of owning land.  Owning the land means being able to sell it.  Who are we to trade in a resource that will last for all eternity?  What does this belief, that we can own the land, do for our interactions with other human beings?  With our partners, friends, and enemies?  As I pose these questions, I realize that I’ll probably never entirely know the answers.  If this intrigues you, go read Brody.  Watch Hemenway.  Enlighten me. I don’t know where to go from here.  I have so many questions.  More, every day.  I haven’t even started seeds, because I can’t decide if I want to grow on the sort-of-rented-but-not-really land I live on.  I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. (Disclaimer, I never made it through all of Hemenway’s video – he might have the answers, if I watched ’til the end).

‘Bout this dream garden though.

If, in fact, owning land can be part of an equitable society – even if it can’t, I suppose – I want a place to be, with a lush green canopy above a hammock.  I want a tiny back deck, right outside my kitchen door, with pots of herbs and rain barrels filling the space. I want a garden that pushes the limits of the climate, and welcomes nature in.  I want to grow hardy kiwi.  I want a garden that produces most of the food that my family needs.  I want a garden with an overwhelming harvest that demands I ask neighbours for help in processing it all.  I want a garden full of art.  Most of all, I want a garden that welcomes and strengthens the community, while providing a (very necessary) sanctuary for me.  It’s about nature, the planet, and the environment, yes.  But more than that, it’s about the people.

It should feel something like the picture at the top. Vivid, dense, and exploding with life.

It should be all the pictures and articles and learning I’ve collected here, somehow crafted into something whole.


Author: Ruth

I'm a cat feeder and box-cleaner. I'm a cook, a wife, a student, an (occasional) crafter, and a small-town child turned city lover. Most of all, I'm an urban vegetable gardener in a province with bitter cold winters, hot dry summers, and backwards food policy.

7 thoughts on “Grow Write Guild Post #2: Dream Garden

  1. Surely you can put some pots somewhere and grow things in them! I own my land, but the soil is difficult and I don’t know yet what’s already growing in it, so my garden is in containers this year. With a bucket or an old rubber boot, you can grow things anywhere!

    • I keep flipping between wanting to invest everything in the soil in my backyard (where I have the go-ahead to remove the grass), and wanting to invest nothing, since I won’t be there for long. So I can’t decide how many plants to start, since I have significantly less space in buckets than I do in yard. And then part of my who really understand chips in, and tells me to leave a legacy of perennial vegetables every where I go. 🙂

  2. Your dream garden sounds great! I would love to grow kiwi too! I have friend who also got permission to start a garden on his apartment’s property. He’s doing it as a community garden and recruiting his neighbors to join in. You could do that and split the costs/work of removing the sod and amending the soil, then you could all share the food, or each have your own little space. good luck with whatever you choose to do.

    Here’s my dream garden… My Dream Garden


    • I’d love to do something like that! Right now I’m in a house that I know I won’t likely be in for long (maybe only one more summer), and I always wonder about the people coming after me, and whether they will just lay out sod over my garden. Also, here’s the kiwi that would grow well where you are – and you don’t even need to peel them!

      • LOL, I often wonder the same thing if I ever move. I can’t blame them tough, it will be their house and I understand that gardening is not for everyone. Thanks for the tip about the z4 hardy kiwi!! I’ve never heard of that, I’ll have to ask about it next time I’m at Linders.


  3. Ruth, I think you summed it up in one word, “sanctuary”. That’s what we all search for in our dream gardens.
    Maybe start one plant (the kiwi) in a container and take it with you?

    • Thanks! I just might have to do that. There are known kiwi plants growing in containers in the same city as me; it’s certainly possible.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s