The new gardener: frugal, intuitive, compassionate


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Dearest readers,

As more and more humans come to realize that everything that exists is a representation of an energetic frequency, and that this energy is a vehicle for consciousness, our view of plants, rocks, soil, and inanimate objects is entirely revised.

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We can, if we choose to do so, communicate with plants, with the Earth, with rocks, with trees. As in Feng Shui, we can intuit where to place rocks or plants in a holistic and harmonious manner that promotes beneficial states of being for both people and plants. Going even deeper, we can ask the trees, the plants, the rocks where they would like to be placed.

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If you are a compassionate gardener on a budget, there are many ways to work with the planet to create a place of beauty without spending much money at all.

This past week while walking my dog in a fairly affluent area, the flow of the Universe brought me a series of free plants that their “owners” had chosen to discard. These plants were healthy and full of life. Some had dried up flowers that needed to be dead-headed, but were otherwise fine! Within the space of two days, I had acquired four chrysanthemums, including a very large pot, one huge fern, and an aloe plant. All awaiting a certain fate as compost until I came along!

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Another way to fill your garden with plants is to choose perennials and plants which multiply and spread. There are many plants that do this, including day lilies, irises and other bulbs, ground covers such as phlox, creeping jenny, and a multitude of others. If you are sufficiently patient, with the purchase of a single plant, within a few years, you can have several flower beds and containers full of beautiful flowering plants and draping ground covers and accent plants.

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Many plants such as succulents will grow roots when simply broken from the mother plant and placed in the soil. Others will root when placed in water – geraniums, jasmine, and many flowering plants will easily grow roots and thus be multiplied without your having to buy multiple plants. On your walks, you may come across bits of cacti which have fallen off the mother plant. Stick them in the ground, and they will grow!

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Community social networks such as Nextdoor are a great resource to trade or obtain free plants. Many people thin their flower beds at various times of year. I have gotten canna lilies, day lilies, irises, and hellebores that now grace my garden through the loving kindness of neighbor gardeners!

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Sometimes our animal friends or air currents bring us wild plants that can become lovely additions to our gardens. I have wild ferns that I have moved around, and wild violets and strawberries can be delightful, though they can also become invasive.

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Another great tip for the frugal gardener is to re-purpose or re-use mulch materials that other people discard. In the southern United States, there is an abundance of pine trees, and pine straw is an excellent ground cover/mulch used to maintain moisture while keeping insects away. It is attractive, light-weight, and when fresh, is a lovely orange color. When purchased at big box stores such as the Home Depot or Lowes, pine straw can cost as much as $4 per bale. When neighbors bag up pine straw for pick up by local sanitation workers, each bag is the equivalent of about two bales, and is absolutely free. Sometimes I offer to help neighbors rake in exchange for their pine straw. It takes about forty bales to cover the landscaped area in my front yard, and this process allows me to meet neighbors, have beautiful fresh pine straw, and to save quite a bit of money!

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You may ask how does one communicate with plants, rocks, or trees? It is really very simple, but it requires the ability to tune in, look inward, be patient, to activate your third eye, and to open your heart. Intuition means learning from your own inner knowing. For the truth is that we already know everything or have access to all that we do need to know. We simply need to remember that we possess these innate abilities and remember how to access them. The more we practice, the easier it gets.

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For example, you either have the plant or rock in front of you, or you simply imagine it in your mind’s eye. You can verbalize aloud or simply think the words in your mind, but clearly express the intent of your request. Then wait for an answer. It may not come in a linear way. It may appear in the form of a synchronistic event. It may flash as an image in your mind’s eye. You may sense a knowing of what to do without any words or images at all. Because all of creation is inter-connected, we are all part of a world-wide web of knowing, communicating, interacting at all times. Plants and rocks are not objects to be discarded or purchased. They are conscious beings. They are our neighbors and our friends.

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The conscious gardener cannot discard a plant, trim a tree, pull a weed without the thought: “How am I influencing this being?” What is this tree, weed, or plant feeling right now?” It is a paradigm shift for the gardener, for we all have been conditioned to think of plants, rocks, soil, trees, as silent passive objects without much importance or connection to us. We are taught to think of them as decorative elements that make a landscape look pretty. Few of us realize that they are thoughtful, have strategies, desires, and fears, just as we do.

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The intuitive, compassionate new gardener has a heart full of respect and gratitude for the plant world. Sometimes we are not sure how to deal with the complexity of this new (to us) interactive relationship with the plant kingdom and with the planet herself, but to simply be open to learn, to remember to show gratitude, and to begin to ask questions, to ask permission when moving or cutting plants, is a good start!

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