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My Ever-Shrinking World

So much has changed in this gardener’s life. There is a new career, new responsibilities at the park and new friends. Yet with all the change my world seems to be getting smaller, which I love. One must not mistake smaller with geographic measurements. Rather, it is the result of focusing much of my time and efforts on all things gardening. When I plan my travels, I look for garden destinations. When the weather is good I head to the park to garden and when the weather turns sour, like on this rainy night, I turn to garden books. And now when I work (I love this part), I get to talk to people in the gardening industry all day. It is lovely to have my work and personal life revolve around gardening.


Recently Patty, Horticulture’s publisher, e-mailed readers a short article on what many of us will be doing this fall in the garden. You know, tasks like mulching, raking leaves and dividing perennials. Her do-to-list for the gardener in fall was spot on. Each day on Facebook I saw garden friends confessing to purchasing large quantities of spring-flowering bulbs. I hope they had good bulb-planting tools to help settle those bulbs in for their winter slumber. I learned the value of having the right tool for the job as I unearthed large stones from a rock garden. (Note to self, a shovel works much better than a hand trowel!) Yes, Emma, my new garden tool go-to lady, your tools are on my Christmas wish list.

I followed many of Patty’s to-do items when tending my gardens at the park. I began tagging my plants knowing full well if I did not I would return in the spring scratching my head wondering what was going to pop up and where. I still remain diligent about protecting my humble garden plots from ravenous deer. There are perennials to divide and replant, new shrubs to install and a continuous crop of weeds to pull; all making for lovely days at the park. And in the evening, there are many great garden books to devour. My new friend at Erickson Birdhouses turned me on to a great read, The After-Dinner Gardening Book, which is in close competition for my reading time with a book on the history of the High Line in New York City.

A shrinking world is a good thing when much of your your time spent living the garden life.


Jenny Koester, AKA The Landless Gardener, is the Garden Blog Editor for Horticulture magazine and the author of The Garden Life and A Year in the Park.