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  • Writer's pictureJill

Entropy in the Garden

The definition of entropy is a “gradual decline into disorder.” Recently, when I went away for a couple of weeks for the birth of our grandchild Abby, I left my garden for 2 weeks without a caretaker. And when I returned...disorder in the garden!

I did hire someone to come and water everyday – because the temperatures were predicted to be over 100 degrees for many days.

But while watering was taken care of – it was indiscriminate, by someone who didn’t really know my plants and what their individual needs were. And so what happened was overwatering in some places, and underwatering in others. I will have to rehabilitate many of my plants.

When I left the garden was perfectly manicured, weeded, and pruned. When I returned growth was wild, untended, untrimmed. I felt like my plants might have been suffering under the weight of my always watchful eye. And when I left, they broke free and decided to party (like kids when their parents leave them home alone)!

Marigolds were wild, blocking the garden path, amaranthus had grown tall and strong, but had rooted in random places everywhere, the pumpkin and watermelon vines had twined themselves into every plant in the garden, sunflowers were blooming and bent trying to fall over, tomatoes were growing wild but most had stopped fruiting, strawberries had taken over the raised bed garden, and there was general chaos everywhere!

And I loved every inch of it. Of course, I will get into the garden tomorrow, and clean, and weed, and trim. But knowing that my garden had a mind of its own, and was happily descending into entropy made me truly understand what gardens are supposed to do. It’s their job to push toward independence, and try to be overgrown, and happily wild.

Our natural human instinct is to create order out of our complicated lives. At least, that’s what I try to do. I like things to be neat and tidy. But my garden has a totally different instinct. And without my interference it would be a completely different place.

But Mom is home now. And there will no more entropy on my watch. Party time is over! Until I visit Baby Abby again!


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