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MMWD Blog: Think Blue Marin

Welcome to our blog! Written by staff at MMWD, “Think Blue Marin” explores all things water in south and central Marin—water supplies, conservation, new projects, watershed management, and more.

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May 19

Passion

Posted on May 19, 2017 at 8:28 AM by Ann Vallee

by Charlene Burgi

weed eating
 What keeps gardeners going in the face of weeds like this? Passion.
A friend stopped by yesterday and found me in the backyard weed-eating some very healthy knee-high vegetation in a yet-undeveloped area of the yard. She shook her head as she looked at the scope of the garden and commented that she would go crazy if she had to take care of so much.

Her observation got me thinking. It’s interesting to compare one person’s opinion of too much to another person's view of perfect. As we walked through the garden, she further commented on the beauty of the color, textures and peacefulness in the developed areas. Her comments made me wonder about the difference between the joy of observing beauty and the joy of creating or maintaining it. The answer came easily: It is passion.

Typically when we are passionate about an interest—whether it be writing this blog, pulling weeds, photographing the perfect rose bud or teaching a child to plant a garden—the action is no longer considered "just a job." The joy and reward are found not just in the results, but in the process. For passionate gardeners, the hours of soil preparations, weed-eating, cardboard mulching, installing or maintaining a well-designed irrigation system, double-digging a vegetable bed, composting, worm farming, pruning and all other related garden chores can be just as rewarding as the outcome.

Of course, the outcomes are pretty rewarding, too. This includes the joy of seeing the wonder in a child's eyes as they pull their planted radishes from the ground, or as they stand in awe watching a pumpkin seed develop into a future jack-o-lantern. Then there is the joy of watching hard, tiny seeds develop into an edible crop, or seeing a mass of weeds disappear under sheet mulch. As for me, the garden represents joy in the beauty of nature as I watch the birds, butterflies and bees envelop an area that would otherwise be vacant of their presence. And one of the greatest rewards is being able to share my own passion and knowledge through this blog, and to read about yours in response. 

Sharing our gardening ideas is a way to pay it forward so others can embrace the love of nature and learn ways of mitigating challenges. As it were, another friend stopped by earlier this week to drop off her over-abundant inventory of kale, cabbage, cauliflower and basil seedlings. I happened to mention I was seeing a few ants scouting out a potential invasion in my bathroom. She asked if I sprinkled cinnamon about. Cinnamon? I tried it and the ants disappeared! Passionate gardeners love to share their knowledge and unexpected tips for what works. 

Do you have ideas, suggestions or tried-and-true practices that you enjoy sharing with others? Conversely, are you challenged by your garden and looking for helpful tips and strategies? If so, seek out a friend or associate who loves gardening and I bet you will see their faces beam as they share their passion with you. 

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