Growing up in an inner-city environment, the world of gardens and farms felt distant. Yet, as I matured, nature’s allure pulled me closer, and the emerging discourse on climate change in the 90s caught my attention.
When I began constructing our home in Nashville in the mid-2000s, the vast and often conflicting narratives on environmental conservation felt overwhelming. But then, my foray into professional gardening brought clarity. An unassuming mantra emerged, cutting through the noise: “gardening helps.”
In 2008/09, as I laid the foundation for the gardens at Natchez Glen House, this mantra blossomed. Beyond the debate and complexities of climate change, one truth stood firm — the act of gardening was a beacon of hope. With every patch of soil I nurtured and every plant I tended to, I was not just beautifying a space; I was contributing positively to our world.
The lessons from the soil, the importance of a thriving biome, and the practices of sustainable gardening all converged to a singular truth. And as the gardens flourished, so did the proof: the mesmerizing dance of the swallowtail butterflies in late summer and the enchanting glow of countless fireflies on warm spring nights.
To anyone navigating the challenges of our environment, I’d say: Let your garden be your compass. Immerse yourself in its lessons and joys. Because, amidst the complexities, “gardening helps.