Archive for February, 2011

Wabi-sabi in the garden

Posted by: Heidi

February 20th, 2011 >> my garden, Photos


For many gardeners it’s the time of year for planning this year’s garden but I don’t actually do a lot of planning. For me it is more a time of anticipation than planning as I wait to see what will happen in my garden this year. Aside from my small vegetable patch, most of my garden is filled with shrubs and perennials that seem to make their own plans. So I’m just watching and waiting to see what has survived through the winter, what will bloom earlier or grow bigger this year, and what may have been lost.

As my garden grows and changes I see many examples of wabi-sabi, a Japanese world view that is centered on the acceptance of transience and celebrates the poetic beauty of imperfection, impermanence and incompleteness. A true sense of wabi-sabi is about simplicity, the effects of time and acceptance of things as they truly are. The simple beauty that aging and natural wear brings to plants and objects in the garden over time is wabi-sabi. Moss-covered objects, old weathered ornaments, an aging, gnarled tree or over-grown perennial patches each tell a story and provide a sense of history and the passage of time.

Wabi-sabi acknowledges three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. Not just in the garden, but in all aspects of our lives, wabi-sabi celebrates the basic, the unique, and the imperfect parts of our lives. We all are perfectly imperfect and wabi-sabi helps us to see the beauty in imperfection, and to discover that our unique flaws can also lead us to our greatest strengths. It reminds us to appreciate every moment, no matter how imperfect and to make the most of the moments that we have.

“There is a crack in everything
that’s how the light gets in.”
~ Leonard Cohen