Margaret Roach over at A Way to Garden asked this intriguing question last week.
I have to admit that there are plenty of times when I wonder why I garden, especially on this scale. (In answer, my husband will say: "What else would you do?")
The question comes up most often in these hot, humid dog days of summer, which I just find to be an endurance test; give me cool fall temperatures over sweltering heat any time.
So why do I garden? In one word, transformation. By creating a garden, you can turn the humdrum, ordinary or even ugly property into something beautiful. Not being able to afford already-gorgeous houses when we were younger meant that we got into the habit of buying properties that needed lots of TLC, in other words, fixer-uppers. (This place is our third, and possibly last, big transformation project: the first was an older house and yard in the city - where I created my starter garden - and the second, a lakeside cottage up north that we sold a number of years ago.)
The transformation part of gardening is exciting and challenging, but I have to admit that the day-to-day maintenance isn't as thrilling. However, the on-going tweaking - weeding, pruning, mulching, dividing, ripping out what isn't doing well - is crucial because once you've done the planting, gardening really consists of controlling and shaping growth, and responding to change.
Since I started taking photography seriously, another reason I garden is to have great stuff to photograph whenever I walk out the door, like the Canada lily above.
So why do you garden?