I have this weird obsession with my veggie patch. I like it straight, everything has to line up in nice straight rows. Every different type of vegetable in its own plot. I am very happy to tend my vegie patch, I feel a connection with the earth when I am weeding, watering and planting. The one thing I hate doing though is harvesting my plants. My babies that I have nurtured to adulthood. It just doesn’t seem right to take them away from their friends and eat them. If I have to select a cabbage I will usually take one from the end of the row even if there is a bigger one in the middle. It would look like a gap toothed smile otherwise, and I would see a hole, not the cabbages. I know that it is pride that makes me want to keep looking at my handiwork, everything lined up neatly (no gaps) but I am aware that vegies are best for us when eaten, not looked at. It is also impractical to have everything lined up and in its own plot.
Have a look around in nature. Nothing grows in straight lines, and several different plant species seem to grow in a disorderly muddle. The bush has a canopy of tall trees, an understory of shrubs and bushes, and ground cover plants all growing together happily. Even a paddock full of grass seems to have many different types of grasses and weeds all tumbled together. By the way a weed is just a flower in the wrong place.
O.K so I can adapt.
I’ve learned that some vegies grow better in the company of others while others actually inhibit the growth of others. Some flowers and herbs provide beneficial effects as well. Symbiosis is a word I love, it means “mutually beneficial relationships” Everyone deserves good relationships even plants, so if it’s in my power to provide that, then I will do my best. However, I think I will still have my plants lined up in rows, with alternating rows of vegies, companion plants, vegies, and then more companion plants. I still want my garden to be a work of art. It needs to be aesthetically pleasing to MY eye, because I get so much enjoyment from looking at it. And if I start planting at the ends of the row first and work my way to the. middle, I should be able to harvest that way too …. shouldn’t I.
So hopefully no more gaps in my nice neat rows. Well that’s the plan anyway.