A Home for Your Gnome

Gardening Advice from a Fan of Fun!

Blessed to be in an earthly paradise

May 20, 2024 | Design, Maintenance, Plants

Heaven on earth. Large effort = larger rewards.

Our entire planet should be viewed as a garden but when your next trip is in the distance, a great garden can be just as satisfying a reward.

I am a liar. There you have it. That is a true confession. I’m not talking about all of the material I’ve been cranking out on this site for the past couple of years. I can promise you that is nearly 63% true. Throughout my career, I have been asked to give talks to an assortment of tree and plant-hugging groups. Every one of those presentations has given me great joy. (Really!) A fair amount of the material/images I’ve shared during these events has come from our own garden.

More than once, someone has commented “That looks like a lot of work!” My response has most often been “Not really”. What a lie! Having a garden like ours has been a ton of work*. The fact that I put an asterisk next to that word deserves some explanation. To me, “work” it is not. Yes, there is plenty of movement, sweat, and tired muscles at the end of most days but the sheer joy that results bring me allows me to substitute “effort” for “work”. So, I guess my response to the comment could have been rephrased. File that one with “snappy comebacks that arrive a bit too late.”

I love to sit on that bench above the pond and watch the koi nearly beach themselves trying to get that last nibble of food.

Late yesterday afternoon I was so very comfortably tucked into one of my favorite relaxation spots (We are lucky to have several) enjoying one of my more successful home-brews and in between chapters of a really great book. I looked up and around and asked myself “I wonder if this is what heaven is like?” If so, I sure hope I make the cut.

In her wonderful, short book Paradise on Earth – The Gardens of Western Europe, author Gabrielle van Zuylen writes “In the beginning God created a garden called Eden”.  She goes on to talk about the concept of a garden as a place of beauty rather than a strictly utilitarian plot. The word “paradise” is often used to describe a place of unparalleled beauty. The Britannica Dictionary says paradise is “a very beautiful, pleasant, or peaceful place that seems perfect.” Sounds like a garden to me!

Our gravel path as we move from back to the front of the garden.

I’ve written before about the difference between “landscape” and “garden” https://garrymenendez.com/landscaping-vs-gardening/  To both of you who read my writings, you’ll also recall how I cringe when clients tell me they want a beautiful garden but want it to be low maintenance. Great gardens or earthly paradises (paradi?) take work….er…..excuse me, effort. But once the sweat has been showered away and you arrive at that rare moment when your “to-do” list can be filed temporarily, it’s time to become part of the garden and submerse yourself in your very own version of heaven on earth.

One more favorite “Heaven on Earth” spots for us (especially when the mosquitos are hungry).

Till next time,


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