For the first time, this year, I’ve planted my own vegetable and fruit garden. I’m very excited about my new project and I’m learning a lot. One of the things I’ve learned is that it isn’t necessary to plant things far apart, over vast areas in a garden. In fact, in almost every case, it makes more sense to tuck plants together. The concept is fairly simple. Basically you plant tall plants next to shorter plants that need less sun, to shade them. You plant vining plants next to stalk plants so they can climb them. Some flowers repel bugs, so you plant those between your veggies to discourage pests. Some plants attract beneficial bugs to eat the bad, veggie eating bugs. Those have a place in your garden too. It all makes perfect sense to me and it’s a fun way to plant. I like the idea that the marigolds are protecting the cabbage and the garlic is helping my roses.
The concept made me think about how it could translate to human interactions. We’re constantly fighting the urge to separate ourselves legally, geographically, domestically, or according to any number of racial, religious, financial, gender/sexual or other parameters. We’re placing ourselves far apart over vast emotional and cerebral areas, when it seems logical that we should all work together…supporting each other…to create a healthier, more vibrant outcome.
Why can’t we view real life as a companion plot, wherein the strong/advantaged provide support for the weaker/disadvantaged and the weaker remind the stronger how to be humble and kind and how to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. In this scenario, the unique qualities of each would be expanded and enhanced by his/her companion’s unique qualities. Everybody contributes. Everybody wins. Everybody grows.
It sounds like a good way to live to me.