“It is good to have a end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” Ursula K. Le Guin, 1969 Like so many things in life, the joy of gardening is found not in the creation of a beautiful landscape, but in the journey of that creation. Truth be told, a garden is never actually “finished” because it is ever-changing; the destination of a perfect garden is impossible to reach. The living, breathing plants that make a garden so wonderful live their lives right alongside our own and they are our companions on the blissful journey. Despite the fact that it lacks an end, the journey of gardening certainly has a beginning. Like most journeys, it begins with a map. This map is unusual, however, because it exists only in your mind and like your garden, it is ever-changing. As the seasons come and go, your garden will change and your desires for the space will lead you to constantly redraw your map. Successes and failures will also change the features on your map, but they are a part of every great journey. The journey is not without effort, but great journeys never are. Cultivating, planting, pruning, harvesting, feeding, seeding and mulching are all steps on the journey, and those steps will be taken many times. Some steps will be more challenging than others, but it is important to keep moving forward and not rest too long or your garden will move on without you and it will be hard work to catch up. Along the way, many rewards highlight your journey: harvesting the perfect tomato, the scent of lilacs in bloom, laying back on a lush green lawn, enjoying a glass of lemonade in the shade of your tree canopy or the flit of a hummingbird as it moves from bloom to bloom. These moments rarely linger, but both the joy of success and the challenging steps along the path are all art of the blissful journey of gardening.

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