Forum home Wildlife gardening

Humanity & Nature

Hello All,

I have a strange problem, and I'd really just like to know what you think...

Does it ever occur to you that gardening is, in a way, quite monstrous? Is it not odd that, as a species, we have the need to control and regulate nature, so that it bends to our will, instead of letting it get on by itself? I know it's a little silly, perhaps a bit insane in the ol' membrane, but I feel genuine sadness when a tree must be cut and twisted to hang over a bench, say, instead of just growing as it might. Or, when a mint plant pops up in a basil bed, and has to be removed.. Are gardeners 'playing nature', as a geneticist might 'play god', or should we think of gardens as being 'manmade', and therefore, controlled by humanity? Whilst I love gardens and forests, I can't help but think that maybe we should just take what we need, as our nomadic Stone Age ancestors did, instead of manipulating and impressing human 'order' onto everything... Is this just an overly sentimental idea about plants and nature, because I am looking at it, instead of being in it? After all, the squirrel does not feel sorry for taking a nut from a tree..

I'd like to know your thoughts...




  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,135

    Monstrous? Bit over the top.....image

    I don't want to live in a mud hut or a cave foraging for twigs and berries, thanks. I like a shower in the morning, put clothes on and have my breakfast (using the electricity to cook it) before I drive to work to earn the money to pay the bills and indulge in my hobbies. It also pays the taxes which in turn pay for all the services we use in life. I grew up in the hippy era. Nice ideal - but a load of old b***ocks. 

    We all 'play God' in everything we do. Even if we think we don't. It's naive to think the world is any other way. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • BLTBLT Posts: 525

    Humanity has planted seeds and reaped what is grown as a result. I think its helping nature..  I do not think your initial post opens a can of worms lol, So much as we like order, now if I have something that springs up in the wrong bed, I lookupon it as a bonus.. So far I have 2 clumps of violas in my onion patch.. I think they are too delicate to move.. I found a missed potatoe from last years harvest is in my flower bed, so I earthed it up and regard it as another bonus..  I cannot see how it is wrong to allow runner beans to climb up a bean frame..Or to Espallier a fruit tree..

    I think maybe you should relax and smell the roses, enjoy the aroma of fresh cut grass and the intricacy of a perfect flower..image

    Last edited: 03 May 2017 21:06:27

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,574

    You have to ask yourself if you are gardening for food to eat - in which case you have to restrain plants like lint from taking over their world and remove competition from weeds that would rob the food plants of water and nutrients.

    If you garden for ornament, again you have to protect the desired plants from the invasive, be they weeds or over exhuberant ornamentals.   Then there's the whole wildlife/biodiversity question and gardening in ways that preserve and promote wildlife from beneficial micro organisms in the soil to the flora and fauna we can see and enjoy.

    Even forests are man made these days in as much as they need maintenance and protection from natural disasters such as fire or predation by loggers or slash and burn farmers or, heaven forfend, vandals planting palm oil trees.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • CloggieCloggie Cambs Fens but not black soilPosts: 1,451

    I really love old, dilapidated buildings that are decaying, they're fantastically picturesque but I wouldn't live in one (well not without doing it up anyway).

    I love a garden that's on the edge of being tended.  I like to see shrubs planted too close together or one plant spilling into another, it's fabulous.

    I also like to see wilderness.

    I think that I don't consider myself to be playing God when I cut my lawn, I do that because if I didn't I'd have a forest out there pretty quickly.  The garden was neglected when I took it on apart from the lawn.  The previous occupants had kept the forest at bay but ivy, nettles, brambles and both ground and tree Elder dominated in the borders.

    We have wild areas nearby and they're pretty much ivy, nettle, bramble and elder so if we let nature take its course then the plant diversity is actually decreased.  My garden is full of hedgehogs, squirrels, birds, bees, butterflies and ladybirds so nature, as I understand it, is thriving here.

    You asked, "should we think of gardens as being 'manmade'".  Yes, we should.  Unless like mine they're made by a woman.

    My thoughts, shared. image

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,234




    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,076

    I consider myself to be a  referee in my garden. But i am biased and sometimes illogical. There are some plants that I dislike and wouldn't introduce into my garden and some plants that I consider to be thugs, so I kill them. I try to be eco- friendly -but it is my garden too.

    I have a bit of a problem with the word 'humanity' and the assumption that it is a benign influence- just look at the news.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • CloggieCloggie Cambs Fens but not black soilPosts: 1,451

    it'll be full of ivy, nettle, bramble and elder image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,869

    I have a theory that the world is held together by bindweed. It concerns me that people are trying to control this. It puts the future of life in jeopardy

    Last edited: 03 May 2017 22:27:37

  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 4,779

    "There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so"

    - William Shakespeare.

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,256

    I believe that we are part of nature and our actions are just as much a part of nature as birds building nests and beavers felling trees and building dams. 

    That doesn't mean that everything we do is good of course , but morality is a man- made construct ... 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

Sign In or Register to comment.