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Quote of the Day: David Culp

January 27th, 2013

“I need to add that patience is truly a virtue, because time is one of a gardener’s greatest allies. With the passage of time, plants grow and our instincts and abilities as gardeners mature and improve. Nothing happens in an instant in the garden; beautiful moments always unfold on their own schedule, in their own sweet time. We may savor the sweetness and remember it for the rest of our lives. But for anyone who loves gardens, it also helps to love being a gardener, since it is only the continuum of the day-to-day work that makes those moments possible”

David Culp in The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage
planning the garden 1
Lately, Mr Chiots and I have been talking a lot about patience when it comes to gardening. It’s especially important when you have a new and exciting space and lots of ideas. We know we want to put in a small orchard here, with pears, apples, plums and maybe a few other types of fruit. Eventually, there will be long hedgerows filled with native and beneficial species. There will be a pond for the ducks and a greenhouse for the winter.
planning the garden 2
Mr Chiots and I are, by nature, jump in with both feet kind of people. Hard work doesn’t scare us and neither does failure. While that is often a very good trait, it needs to be tempered with patience in some situations, this is one of those cases. Through much deliberation, we decided to wait at least a year to embark on any major garden plantings and changes.
planning the garden 3
We’ll spend this next year watching the gardens unfold, noting varieties of plants, the movement of the sun, the flow of the water. Care will be taken in improving and remineralizing the soil in the areas we think the orchard might fit. Being patient will benefit us in the long run, our trees will grow faster and stronger if we take time to choose the perfect spot, the right varieties and work diligently at improving the soil.

Have you learned patience through gardening?

10 Comments to “Quote of the Day: David Culp”
  1. daisy on January 27, 2013 at 8:18 am

    That’s such a good idea. Everything I read tells me that it’s best to wait to see how your land interacts with the seasons, climate and soil culture in a new place. It’s gonna be difficult to wait, for sure, but you are wise to do so. I hope you will still be putting in a veggie garden though. I want to be along for the ride!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  2. kathi Cook on January 27, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I agree totally about waiting one year before undertaking anything major. It gives you a chance to see what you really have first. Enjoy the process! At least with your blog you will have the progress well documented. We always forget to take “before” pictures and then regret it afterwards.

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  3. Nebraska Dave on January 27, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Susy, you are very wise indeed to watch the land for a year before making long term decisions about gardening and planting an orchard. Every property has it’s own mini climate than can greatly affect the growing patterns of what’s planted there. Soil, water, and sunlight are different in every spot of the landscape. You have learned that it’s best to work with nature than against her. In the grand scheme of things, you will be more satisfied with the outcome by being patient and paying attention to how your new land lives.

    Have a great year of planning.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  4. KimH on January 27, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I dont know what truly taught me patience.. Life itself in all aspects, I think. I’ve always been very patient but sometimes in my older age, Im nowhere near as patient as I once was.. I still tread carefullly though.

    Reply to KimH's comment

  5. Janet Anderson on January 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    You are right about waiting but I admit I would find it very hard! I guess you will have the veggie garden and such to start with…right?

    I moved into a house in April with a small but full south backyard with no big light blockers. The backyard had been improved by the previous owner by removing all vegetation and covered with river rock, landscape paper and gravel. Called it ‘no maintenance’ on the realestate listing LoL. I built beds and planted the core trees and a very few perennials – that for me was the limit of my patience! This year I will fill in the beds with roses and other perennials. It is a mixed set of raised beds with food and and flowers happily living together.

    If I had been patient I would have waited a year to start but I couldn’t live with the gravel.

    Thank you so much for the inspiration of the past year and what is to come. I love your blog and learn so much. Enjoy the adventure!


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    • Susy on January 27, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      Yes, we have a veggie garden that will keep us busy while we patiently wait to start other projects.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Janet Anderson on January 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I forgot to say that I hired a landscape designer to help me – which made locating the plants easier. He is a permaculture advocate and not only let me do a lot of ‘sweat equity’ but he believes is teaching people how to do things for themselves instead of creating a permanent client.

    I have learned so much about building and planting. At 49 years old this is my first house and my first real garden. It will be eccentric but then, so am I. LOL

    Reply to Janet Anderson's comment

  7. Maybelline on January 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Patience is a trait forced upon you if you garden.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  8. amy on January 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Your desire to wait and watch before you plant is an admirable and intelligent decision…..and one that will bear much fruit….;)

    Reply to amy's comment

  9. Norma on January 27, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    When it comes to patience for planting……well that’s just impossible for me! When ever I have moved I always end up with hundreds of pot plants that are cuttings and plants from my previous garden and waiting a year would never do….
    I find it hard enough to wait to put the summer and winter seedlings in at the appropriate time of year.
    The patience I do have came from having children, bless them!

    Reply to Norma's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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