If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
There are no end of quotes attributed to Albert Einstein that have to do with mystery, intuition, music, knowledge, curiousity, God, and nature. This is more than I would have expected from a physicist. But he was much more than brilliant scientist, he was a person of great depth and greater compassion.
The above mentioned quote about research is one of my favorites. A friend and architect who came to call Saturday with some questions about his landscape made the observation that any conclusion one wishes to believe in regarding growing plants will find some article or another on the internet to support that assumption. Though he had read countless articles about his issue, there did not seem to be any agreement. No trend. No discernible pattern.
I find nothing unusual in this. There are countless opinions about every horticultural issue. Anyone who wishes to find the final and definitive word on how to keep lavandula going in my zone has a rocky road ahead of them. I feel I can safely say that rocky road will not end at the lavender grail. It will just end.
Also from Albert Einstein, information is not knowledge. I am beginning to understand what this means. I am a voracious reader. Books, articles, journals, magazines-multiply all of this by countless numbers when it comes to what is available to read on the internet. How can I distill all of this information?
How does any gardener make some coherent sense of what opinion is out there? If you read the blog Garden Rant, or Rochelle Greayer’s Studio G, you will get a different slant than if you read the magazine Garden and Gun. If you read Scientific American, you will come away with a different point of view than what the RHS journal favors. The AHS bears no remote resemblance in subject,tone of emphasis, to Garden Design. If you love reading, and turning the pages of that great publication Garden’s Illustrated, does this mean you should not read Leaf-the digital only, and seasonally available garden magazine by Susan Cohan and Rochelle Greayer?
Of course not. Any information that comes your way about design and plants is all to the good. Add what you like, and shed what doesn’t interest you. Do your best to be persuaded , should something seem right. But most of all, do your own research.
Knowledge that is solid has everything to do with experience. Research. Never be afraid to try something new. Never ever be afraid to try something that someone else assures you won’t work. My big view about gardening? Lots of things work.
What works for you is a matter directly related to your research. Try this. Try that. Do what hasn’t been done before. Change this. Change that. If you have a mind to complicate your garden, research what it would mean to make it more simple. Sometimes going in the opposite direction is a very good idea. Knowledge of the garden, beautiful gardens, are built on experience.
Your experience makes sense of a lot of things-no matter what anyone else says. Trust those results. What you personally find that works, will make your garden better. Is there a better gardener for your garden than you? no.