I reach this point every winter where I haven't gardened for several months and I really have nothing to say. For most people, that would prevent them from blogging...but then, I am not most people. Oh no...I intend to use this space to talk about nothing. Really...nothing...(for optimal effect, this post should be read while listening The Smiths "William")
Merriam -Webster defines nothing (noun) as follows:
a : something that does not exist b : the absence of all magnitude or quantity; also : zero 1a c : nothingness, nonexistence
As gardeners, we often rush to fill emptiness. It's almost as if the blank spaces in our garden are super massive black holes, vacuuming in nearby plant matter in an attempt to eliminate the void. And if we are greedy, we rush out in spring to purchase lots of new plants for which we have absolutely no room at all. This almost guarantees that every nook and cranny will be crammed with greenery.
But what if we left those spaces open...or what if, dare I say, we deliberately created empty space? What if we thought of ourselves as curators of spaces instead of constant creators? Deep. Maybe too deep...my head hurts.
Again Merriam-Webster speaks: curator (noun)
one who has the care and superintendence of something; especially : one in charge of a museum, zoo, or other place of exhibit
Now, my garden is certainly not a museum...it is possibly a zoo. But I consider that I am a curator, in that I have not created every living thing in my yard. I am a partner with nature...and sometimes I create new designs, add new plants. Other times, I appreciate the existing design...including the empty spaces. Without them, there is no contrast, no opposing force that highlights the filled spaces. There are no crisp, clear edges that define plants one from another. Nor is there any space to ponder a singular plant, to study its unique beauty.
And in some ways, winter is the "nothing" of my gardening year. I take time to reflect on previous seasons and enjoy the anticipation of what is to come. In reality, nothing is actually a whole lot of something...if we allow it to be...