Have you ever noticed that you’ve stopped noticing? It seems part of our humanity that the more familiar we are with something, the less conscious of it we become. For example, there’s a good chance your morning routine is so repetitive that you accomplish many of your morning tasks while completely focused on the agenda for the day ahead. This ability to sleep walk through huge portions of our lives often comes at a high price: our appreciation for routine experiences diminishes. We no longer savor the beauty, process, aromas, flavors of our moment-by-moment existence.

This auto-pilot mode is often reflected in our gardens as we begin to relate to them as backgrounds to be maintained rather than spaces for interaction and joy. This mental shift is unfortunate because, like any living thing, gardens require regular attention and care in order to thrive.

Inspiration is a key to achieving a greater experiential return on our garden investments. Our gardens should contain elements that work against the human tendency of over-familiarity and force us out of auto-pilot: a curved walkway that slows us down; a hidden alcove that captures our curiosity; a well-crafted stepping stone path that alters our stride; or an artistically-pruned, vibrantly-colored Japanese Maple that takes our breath away.

Inspiration should be a priority when considering a garden investment; ignoring this quality will result in a garden that quickly becomes familiar and humdrum. As you consider investing in your landscape, prioritize inspiration–so that each encounter with your garden adds discovery, joy, and interest to your life!

–Contributed by Peter Dymond
HL Garden Care Foreman