Most gardeners recognize hortus sanus when they see it. It is what we want for ourselves, for every gardener. It is what we hope for, plan for, work for, and plant for.
Literally translated hortus sanus is Latin for “garden healthy” or “garden sane”
Most gardeners want a healthy garden. Most gardeners want a healthy garden without giving up their own sanity to get it. They want a balance between hortus sanus and ego sanus.
When I meet other gardeners, the happiest ones are those who have achieved that balance.
Balance is never easy. It requires practice, patience, and persistence. It requires study and observation and learning. Sometimes it requires “do-overs”, “step backs” and “tear downs”.
The definition of hortus sanus, a healthy garden, is different for every gardener depending on where we garden and what we are capable of doing. It depends on what means we have, both within ourselves and within our checkbooks.
Once we put that shovel in the ground for the first time and realize we are gardeners, the quest begins, whether we realize it or not, for hortus sanus.
I’m on that quest, and have been on that quest for decades.
Let me tell you what I’ve learned so far…
(Thank you to Pam Penick, Digging, for the picture of me in a gazing ball, taken at the Shadrack's beautiful gardens somewhere near Buffalo, New York.)