The Going Native journey is not a statement. It’s not political, not artistic, not religious. It’s a journey by steps towards the best habitat I can create. It’s the new age ideal, ‘we are everything, and everything is us’, brought back to the physical. It’s finding pure balance in the nature I create. But it’s not without whimsy or artistic affect. That would be silly.
In a time, where life through the digital lens, is too often deep in gloom, we must remind ourselves the online world is only an alternate reality. You can chose to be lost there or you can you look outside. There is a physical reality that is more genuine and at the ready for positive change. Light is a given every day! My immediate reality is tied to the places I inhabit. My most intimate influence is at my home, in my garden. I can create any web of life I choose. The world inside our heads overshadow the tangible, pliable world that allows us to create our immediate reality. When you put your heart into making every square inch within your reach more habitable for soil bacteria and native insects and birds, you grow in their success and the habitat they supply to wildlife around. Along the way you create balance and opportunity for nature to survive.
But knowing your world comes first and in small steps. My goal is to replicate the nature surrounding me. It will inform how each individual part of the garden is sown. I learn through societies like the native plant society, and Audubon. My volunteer work informs my work at home. The gardens’ balance is my reward.
Broken chains and infestation, a garden example.
In the last five years, Japanese beetle has laid waste to conventional garden plants in the Denver metro area. The less harmful means to curb these pests cannot keep up with the numbers of beetles. But our conventional gardening is a lush breeding ground with our mono-cultural, heavily watered lawns for their grubs and our roses, beans, strawberries for their adults. My neighbors have taken to poison to protect their roses and other perennials. Though now I know these beetles will eat almost anything. Wikipedia’s host plant list is a traditional garden center’s full inventory! I’ve heard their munching mints to clear their palates for the next meal!
So curiously I went looking for evidence of damage on my plants, it is sparse. Yes my strawberries are a sad pocked sight without irrigation this year.. but they will come back. This lack of pest damage may be that I provide places for beetle predators. Who in turn balance beetle numbers. A lack of lawn for their larval stage and variety of plants they do not crave might have helped. As well as not over watering. A stressed plant may be a bitter pill. Habitat for predators need not be huge. A small cobblestone with crevices below for a spider to roost. Each time I see a web weaved across branches or a tunnel created to entice a bug under a rock, I think of Charlotte’s web and being a friend to spider kind. Who in turn are a great friend to me.
So with that I bid you adieu, and luck in finding your balance in gardening, volunteering, or savoring our natural world.