Saturday, April 23, 2011

Weeds in the Garden of Eden : Part 2 : Types of Gardeners

Garden of Eden Source unknown - used without explicit permission
If you happened to already read Part 1, bear with me in the weighty conclusion today...

There are two types of gardeners:

Homo contentinhumus - The true gardener, who is truly happy being up to the elbows in soil and plants, and often doesn't even care that he or she will later suffer from allergies.  This is the gardener who has a garden (noun) so that he or she can "garden" (verb) there - pulling weeds, moving plants, amending soil...  He or she may set up a bench in the garden, since it sets off the colours and textures of the plants so nicely, but has no time to actually sit in it.  In utter but euphoric exhaustion, he or she is often found instead sprawled on the porch of the shed, or kneeling for a while in the soil, or leaning against a fence while catching his or her breath and picking the leaves out of her hair.

Homo Hortaverbosa - The pretend gardener, who spends a couple of hours twice a year, but talks about how much he or she worked in the garden for proportionately too long.  This is the type of person who tries to sound interested in plants, but elects only the "low maintenance" ones chosen and installed by his or her landscaper.  He or she may walk about the yard occasionally to inspect the "garden" (landscaping), but quickly retreats to the comforts of the deck, and home.  He or she thinks of gardening (verb) as a chore, done only to have a nice "garden" (noun).

I'd venture that anyone who has made it this far into my blog post, is not only the true gardener, but is probably resting at the computer after exhausting yourself in the garden earlier today.  Besides, it's already dark, so not much more can be done in the garden tonight.

By definition, the Garden of Eden was a place of perfection, where all creatures existed in peace and love and fulfillment.  So I would venture that when God commanded Adam and Eve to be "fruitful and multiply" and to garden there, that the gardening and the playing around (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) in the garden was enjoyable to them.  (Okay, the scriptures don't explicitly refer to gardening (verb), but I'm sure that they were not only to eat the fruit there, but they must have also tended to the garden, since later the curse was that the gardening would be a "toil", and they would need to deal with "thorns and thistles".) 

So if the gardening was a source of fulfillment, then Adam and Eve were true gardeners, who enjoyed this activity.  So by extension, true gardeners also enjoy moving plants about, and "weeding" out ones in favour of others.  Even if Adam may have been content with harvesting fruit, and leaving things where things were planted, Eve must have had some ideas of how the planting arrangement could be improved.  After all, it's not only a woman's prerogative to move things about, but it is a God-given gift to imagine and create and effect change.  (Certainly not a result of the fall into sin.  I'd venture that the effects of sin was the subsequent reluctance of the man to help her anymore with making the changes she still imagined, and leaving her to "toil" on her own - oops, getting too personal here!)

Since all plants bear seeds or runners or other means of propagating successfully, they all need tending to keep them organized, and keep any garden area from becoming totally overgrown.  Especially for fruit-bearing plants, they need tending and pruning and "weeding" around them to keep them bearing successfully.

Okay, where am I going with all this?  Since the definition of a "weed" as set out in Part 1 is a plant growing where we want it not to grow, and the first couple - who were true gardeners - enjoyed moving things about and changing planting arrangements, and cleaning up the garden to allow for successful fruit bearing, then it follows logically that they must have needed to remove plants from the garden.  Therefore, there were weeds in the Garden of Eden!

This thought makes me feel pretty good, and I'm up to my elbows in dirt again today, removing weeds.


HolleyGarden said...

I have never thought about Adam and Eve (and later just perhaps Eve, as you eluded to) moving plants about in the garden of Eden, but yes, it now seems logical. Weeds? Well, there was that nasty serpent, so maybe yes, there may have been weeds too. Enjoyed reading your post. I am writing this after dark, with dirty hands, so I am of course, the first type of gardener.

O.I.M said...

a fun philosophical post. i am definitely homo contentinhumus.

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