I’ve been on vacation for the last three weeks (hello to my new followers!), mainly in the south of France, and I’ve been taking plenty of pictures. Some of which I’ll post here as I catch up to things. Though gardening wasn’t my trip’s focus by any means, I couldn’t help but notice how incredibly lovely and thoughtfully designed every single arable city plot and planter was, throughout the climates, from the Mediterranean to the mountains. Watching the municipal gardeners in these places work was a marvel, with a level of diligence and care that simply does not exist here in our public spaces. Quite simply, they give a shit, and it shows.
Further, they are more responsible with their entire ecology. Here’s a sign from a particularly beautiful park at the top of Nice. ”You are in a natural space”, the sign reads, and “out of respect for the environment, we are reestablishing biological equilibrium and not applying chemical treatments.” They “encourage you to do the same in your garden.” Wow! I cannot applaud them enough. This is taking the high road.
I take this in contrast to the signs I saw recently at my local park warning about applications of herbicides for controlling rhizomatic weeds that will just come back anyway, the mystery dust the lawn services spread on neighbor’s lawns, and the repulsive, acrid smell of toxic chemicals that putrefy every gardening aisle in every hardware store in America. Obviously, France has problems of its own that I’m sure I don’t know about as an outsider, but in general I find evidence of a greater appreciation for the big picture. And in gardening, there’s nothing more important.