On my soggy drive home today, talk radio was filled with opinions about the pending "economic stimulus package" and the looming recession driving it. Lots of doom and gloom, both here and abroad. And it got me thinking (as most things do) about gardens and the people who live with them.
On the one hand, a well-designed garden is a true luxury: it doesn't shelter us from these incessant rains, it doesn't furnish us with cotton or wool to spin into garments. It costs money to design, money to install, and money to maintain. The average
On the otherhand, a well-designed garden may be an absolute necessity, especially in darker times. It can save you money on energy and water through intelligent planting design and efficient irrigation and lighting. It can lower your grocery bill by providing physical sustenance, i.e. delicious fruits and vegetables, every month of the year. But most importantly, it can bring you joy every day by creating an environment filled with vibrant colors, intoxicating scents, soothing sounds, bejeweled birds and butterflies, or those priceless spaces where your children can play or you can relax.
So what would I advise to someone who wants to upgrade their landscaping, but isn't sure now whether that's such a good idea? Obviously, I can't tell anyone how to prioritize their budget, and I certainly don't advocate going deep into debt with a landscaping project. But given that it is a short-term investment in your spirit as well as a long-term investment in your most significant asset, maybe — just maybe — a well-designed garden is a luxury you can't live without.