Hello and welcome, friends.
I’m starting this blog to document my path as a druid gardener. I thought my first post would detail this quest, including what being a druid and a gardener means.
Druidry. When you ask five different druids for a definition of druidry, you’ll likely get five different answers. Druidry,
by its very nature, resists definition. It is flexible and fluid, like a moving river. It is refreshing and stimulating, like the spring breeze. It is insightful and wise, like the snowflake or frozen countryside. It is inspirational and powerful, like the peak of a mighty volcano. Druidry is a life path, a spiritual tradition, and, to me, a way of seeing the world. Druidry asks us to investigate, enjoy, and strengthen our own bond with the natural world. Druidry sees the land, the animals, the water, the sky–all as sacred.
As a druid, I live my life in a sustainable, ecologically friendly way. But druidry goes beyond environmentalism–rather, we view the land itself as sacred and worthy of reverence. These are my definitions of druidry. Some druids may disagree, or may add or subtract as they see fit. Druids are pragmatic and adaptable folk–we understand that tolerance is key to our continued harmony and peace. Our tolerance is also key to the nature of druidry–like the seasons, we come in many varieties and walk many different paths. But the one thing that unites all druids is our belief, ultimately, that nature is good and that through healing nature, we heal ourselves.
The Garden as a Site of Druidic Practice
The druid path encourages us to seek out the natural world and to find spiritual meaning in its embrace. The garden lends itself very well to the druidic tradition–it is a source of life, balance, growth, and seasonal change. Druidic practice looks at the connection of our lives with the elements (earth, air, fire, and water) and with the flow of Awen (divine inspiration). We dig our hands into the earth to plant and harvest. The air brings clouds, storms, and the water falls with the rain. The sun provides the fire that allows the plants to grow. We are inspired by the garden’s bounty and growth.
But druidic gardening is more than just growing vegetables. It asks us to garden in a sustainable, earth-friendly manner. To consume less, to conserve more. A druidic garden is one that is at harmony with the land. To this end, a druidic garden:
- Is organic and locally sourced, using natural materials such as manure and compost to fertilize and condition the soil (and preferably only coming from a small radius nearby)
- Is a place of sustainability and embraces the idea of permaculture: sustainable gardening practices encourage us to live with the land, rather than off the land
- Allows for a reduction in consumptive behaviors currently killing the planet; reduces our dependency on fossil fuels and goods transported by those fuels
- Reconnects us with the spiritual and healing aspects of the land
- Is a place to grow spiritually and learn to better respect the process of life
- Is a place to seek knowledge and to learn about plants, food and seed preservation, the cycle of the seasons and planting, harvesting, and so much more.
I am new to this gardening path. I grew up with a garden as a child, but the process was never explained in depth. As a college student, the most I could manage was a few tomato plants in a container. But here, now, on three fabulous acres of my own land, I will learn, grow, and become a druidic gardener. And I hope to take you on this journey.