A Life More Ordinary – Part Two

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Longwood Gardens

Going “home” really brings out the nostalgia in me, a way to connect with our roots and look to what the future holds.

Growing up in the country, kids playing outdoors among the trees was not an endangered activity like it is today. The more nature, the more creative the play. Forts and tree houses.

Turtlehead

John Bartram Gardens

I remember being alone in the horse pasture, sitting on the fence waiting for the school bus, dog by my side, horse muzzle resting on my shoulder, high grass tickling bare ankles, with trees protectively shading my pale skin. No one cared whether I was home for dinner or I ate my fill of wild strawberries before school.

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Longwood Meadows

I would delight in my butterfly exploration. You would think I would dream of being a conservationist. I wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up, hence the previous post’s note of being a bio major. I was always very mechanically, mathematically, scientifically, and artistically inclined though. Early aptitude tests said – architect. So I went in that direction, but still liked “saving” all things living.

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Longwood Gardens

I find conservationists and environmentalists generally seem to have had a transcendent experience with nature when children, collecting crickets in their cuffs and mud on their feet. I myself had this experience, children being children.

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John Bartram Gardens

I suppose we will always have these folks, but will they maintain that deep connection as time goes forward? Kids today are not typically outdoors in play as was the case a generation or two previous. You cannot love nature abstractly. It needs to be experienced and felt to have or build a nature-rich future.

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Longwood Gardens

If I asked you what would be your idealized future, what would be your answer? It certainly is not to live in a cocoon of you own existence would it? When we look to the future, I would hope to see nature-filled cities and towns, not some post-apocalyptic shell of what once was.

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Dwarf Pomegranate at Bartram Gardens

If kids are our future as the cliché says, parents are going to need to do their part to instill in children the wonder and excitement of nature. Nature is always fresh, new and beautiful as each season forges into change. I think our children need to see it. After all, we are going to need these kids one day, even if the kids don’t know it yet.

Tiger Swallowtail at Longwood Meadows

Tiger Swallowtail at Longwood Meadows

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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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29 Responses to A Life More Ordinary – Part Two

  1. Penny Stowe says:

    As always – beautiful photography and wonderful words!

  2. arlene says:

    I only wish the future generation would be lucky too to see and appreciate what nature brings. I love all your photos,by the way.

  3. Beautiful photos and maybe there is some hope in the younger generation . My daughter of the late 20s says those younger than her are much more environmentally conscious. Problem is whether so many in the middle years are still in environmental denial. Agree about childhood experiences though.

    • I believe people are finally seeing why we need natural space. When a kid, it was so taken for granted, and now older and an architect, I see how much waste of space we have created. There is a lot of clean-up for kids of today, old shopping centers left to waste on concrete parking for instance. Kids now a days see record loss of wildlife too. Some creatures will never be seen again. I have not checked on the loss recently, but know it climbs daily.

      • It does, and I always feel with all the new building there should also be a plan for provision of more open natural places. There are so many parks in London but very few new ones. People need natural space and biodiversity needs a variety of habitats. You’re doing a great job in raising awareness.

  4. I think the trend is toward people connecting with nature wherever they live. Instead of having cities where very little grows, in Western New York we have urban areas where people cram as many plants as they can into tiny yards, which helps pollinators. There are community gardens, too, where residents can grow food. Even urban farms!

    • Yes, it helps pollinators, but do you really think that is the main intent or goal? Are you sure it is not for aesthetics, bettering the neighbor’s gardens and to show a garden for Garden Walk? As an architect, I like to think it was and is for bettering the city and providing a “green” habitat for us and wildlife, but after all these years, I see something quite different. It may be all the things I mentioned, but what I find is these gardens are becoming a lot of work for older folks and I bet that starts changing the maintenance level on the gardens. Small yes, but enormous work and expense.

  5. Loretta says:

    Just gorgeous, your composition of all these pictures are simply astounding!

  6. alesiablogs says:

    I love the outside and nature. It is what calms me now when nothing else can..

  7. I’m glad you had a great trip home. So far, my kids (adults now) seem to enjoy time in nature. They aren’t as interested in gardening as I am, but they both enjoy hiking and biking. I was encouraged a couple of years ago in my master naturalist classes that many of my classmates were young folks who definitely want to work to preserve, protect, and restore natural areas. It helped me to be hopeful about the future.

    • Good that your kids are interested in being outdoors. I have not found that kids or young people for that matter in this area care much about being outside. In a way, living in the city, I am grateful for that. Less crime.

  8. I do love seeing swallow tails in the garden, butterfly’s are such amazing creatures…Both shots are pretty amazing.

  9. I agree all you wrote, you need connection with Nature, you have to see the seasons pass through your life, you have to feel the rain on your body and the soil on your hands.

  10. I was a chaperone for my son’s 7th grade trip to our local Arboretum last year. And from what I’ve witnessed, most of these kids did not enjoy their time outdoors. All I heard was whining and complaints. Most of these kids stay indoors with their technologies, unfortunately. We are an outdoor family and limit screen time severely for our kids. They tend to want to go outdoors a lot when screens are not an option! 🙂 My 10 yo went for a physical and the doctor was looking at his legs and made a comment that his legs show he spends a lot of time playing outdoors and how wonderful that is to see! My boys are 16, 13 and 10.

  11. A.M.B. says:

    Beautiful pictures. My children don’t spend nearly as much time in nature as I’d like them to. They want to read their books and play on their computers. Gardening with them this summer has helped, though.

  12. Amen and amen. Beautifully said, not to mention the photos.

  13. Yes, I agree. As computers provide experiences that are more and more “real” will children lose any ability to feel a connection with nature? One solution is to provide urban and suburban spaces that are as full as possible of a diversity of life. I grew up in the suburbs and dreamed of being able to wander fields and woods. Aside from occasional trips, having a garden is as close as I got.

    • I was lucky to have lived in the country before living in a city. I would trade city life any day of the week. If my husband would move, I be on my way to country life again. You are right that kids experience nature through images rather than firsthand. Sad, but true.

  14. Lula says:

    You are so right, the future is now and everyone of us are responsible for the world we are creating, we really need a great deal of energy to protect our planet, and really mean it, I heard about an article on Nature about the loss of trees in the planet, and I would like to run out of my daily life and start planting all I could. How are going to do without trees? Without bees? etc. Thanks for so activist in these matters!

    • It will be a day of reckoning one day when people have realized what they have done to this world. I would like to be more of an optimist that people can change, but I feel it is too late and too far out of control on so many fronts.

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