three tiny brown mushrooms, growing out of moss on an inclined surface
Curing the Gardening Phobia

How to Be a Goth Gardener

Listen to this post’s read-aloud in your car.

Familiar with the friendly Goth host on that British baking show? He’s so funny that I looked up the meaning of “Goth” in the Urban dictionary. It refers to a culture that embraces all life cycles, including the dark cycles of decay and death.

You probably already knew that…I’m the one who had to look it up.

So why am I opening up a gardening blog talking about Goths?

The Romance of Decay

Because you might think that dead wet leaves, sticking to your shoes are nothing but a nuisance. Or that a log smothered in crawling bugs is just gross…would you recoil?

Gray fuzzy stuff stuck to the stems of your flowers is sooo disappointing.

Simple truth—Nature is going to decompose whether you are disappointed and grossed out, or not.

Dead leaves fall and decay. Flowers left unattended, with dead leaves clinging to them will decay and take the flower stalk with it.

Grass grows whether you are a gardener or not. Bugs look for food. Birds eat the bugs. Spiders eat the bugs. Frogs and lizards eat spiders. Celebrate nature’s cycles in this video.

The Nearness of Decay

You could sit inside your house and pretend that nature is not going on all around you. But it will. And when you walk out to your car, you will step on it—nature that is.

So why did you buy a house? To have a yard for the kids to play in? To own something that you could decorate with your own personal flair? To have more room?

Those were my reasons, too. But a house sits on the earth—with nature in it. Nature that will grow, reproduce, eat, move around, and…decay. Whether you are involved in it or not.

You can’t complain that you don’t like the outdoors…if on your vacations you go to the beach, or a nearby lake, or on a hike. If you go outdoors to relax, why are you pretending that your lawn and gardens don’t exist?

Mothering Nature

moldy copper garden pots, stacked

So when you look out your window and stuff is growing where you don’t want it…or nothing is growing where you hoped for flowers….what will you do?

Do you feed your children? Of course you do. Because you love them…and you love watching them grow.

That nurturing is the same activity you engage in when you’re on your knees digging in the dirt. Mother Nature is a nurturer.

Nature of Humanity

You can partner with nature in a way that might surprise you–You can help it decay. Yeah…you read that right…you can be a partner in decay.

So gardening is compatible with a Goth lifestyle… you’re welcome to go there if you want.

When we had our first house, Craig spent a lot of time complaining about raking leaves. It seemed like wasted time and effort because after all your work, the bags go on the curb to be hauled away.

TreesYour BFF

gray smooth-barked tree with moss covering bottom third and flat green leaves growing above

The solution will never be “cut down the trees” because they help with the A/C bills, providing shade in summer. And they’re part of that curb appeal that you need when re-sale time comes.

Did you know that they actually add economic value to your home? True…you can look it up here, if you like…   https://www.fastcompany.com/1681455/quantifying-the-economic-value-of-trees-to-cities

Did you know that they also help relieve blood pressure? And that people who live on tree-lined streets are proven to be a little healthier than humans trying to live without trees? Because they remove particulates from the air during the photosynthesis process. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/07/trees-good/375129/

In spite of these health benefits, you claim that your preferred exercise is in a gym. But…if you don’t mind pumping iron, why would you mind raking leaves? It’s an authentic activity that officially works the trapezius, biceps, triceps, pectorals…and gets you outside with your kids…or just outside.

Stop the World, I Want to Get Off

So, you claim that you don’t have time enough with your kids…that life is moving too fast…you’re right. I feel that way too.

Until I make a conscious effort to slow down by going into my yard.  You can do lots of things in the yard…you can also rake leaves. It’s an upper body workout. It’s time for meditation. It’s time for play with your kids.

Jumping in piles of leaves with your kids is one of life’s sweetest pleasures…a free weekend health spa that leaves you happily covered in leaf bits and giggles.

Even better…when the playtime is done, you will grind them up with your lawn mower and make compost with them…lush, soft, enriching compost…to partner with Mother Nature.

The Pot of Gold

OMG! I don’t have time for that stuff! Is that where we headed? Yep.

Hand to God…it only takes 1 hour to get it set up…and even less time to keep it going.

The anticipation of healthy, growing flowers increases happiness and a sense of purpose ….

Satisfaction and pride as you participate in nature’s cycles supports your commute into work each day…

The happy glow of playing with your kids lingers forever…

Share this with your favorite reluctant gardener.

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