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Useful And Fantastic: Gardens Of The Future

" In the garden of the future some unpleasant facts may sprout,'' writes Val Yule.

Can there be agardens in the future?

The first Paradise was a garden, not a wilderness. In this garden of legend, humans worked with nature in what is called a symbiosis, a living together, that was delightful for all life.
Still today a garden is for solace, beauty and all pleasures. It breathes life and freedom within the steel cities. It is also where the human gardener meets the elements, the weeds, the pests, the facts of living.

In the garden of the future some unpleasant facts may sprout. The more people, the less room for garden. The more people, the less that pleasure is allowed to justify a garden. The less that gardens can continue to consume resources and produce environmental waste. O Woe! Already we cannot have the pleasant garden bonfire, because too many people’s little fires mean too much smoke.

Gardens cannot be consumers as they are now. Gardeners are usually Green people, as green as their thumbs. They are agin all exploiters, clear-fellers and those who rut-ride trail-bikes in the parks. But we gardeners deceive ourselves if we think we are not sinners too. We watch gardening shows which advise us that our gardens should consume river-sand and peat-moss and fancy soils, and fertilisers, insecticides, herbicides, and electric and petrol-driven tools and mowers. This importing and consumption is even worse for Australian gardeners than for Europeans, because Australian soils are so depleted already, without the thick Continental loams that can be deeper than a spade can reach.

What is left for the future? And what is left in the places that our gardens take these things from?

Our gardens cannot continue as wasters. Out of our gardens come flowers, fruits and vegetables - but also green-garbage bins full of prunings and weeds; and useless branches and stickery pile up for the big waste council collections. Even from gardens that have worm-farms and compost the unseeding weeds. All that waste-production toted off to the mulching no doubt - (and often there may be doubt) but a burden on the rates whatever and a consumer of energy resources to cart it all away.

Paradise was a garden

Paradise was a garden
Prepared by no man's hand
The sixth day came a man-pair
And occupied the land.

They tended but they did not till
They ate the fruits but did not kill
But then as humans ever will
They over-played their hand.

Who built a tower but aimed too high
Who find new worlds to ravage
Invent for good but use for ill
And turn their freedoms savage.

How long, O Lord, they cried but now
Must cry, how long, O man.


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