Garden Making is the name I chose in 2002 when I started my independent business. These two simple words best describe my interests and aspirations. I make my own garden. I help people make their gardens through my writing, teaching and workshops. I research the best ways to make a garden. I ask people how they make their gardens. You get the idea.
For me, the phrase also describes my straightforward approach to most things in life — learn, participate, enjoy.
That’s not to say Garden Making just popped out of my head back then. I recall a long list of word combinations taped to the refrigerator door for friends and family to add to. Those were whittled down to about six suggestions, then down to the one that seemed the most clear and concise: Garden Making. We registered the URL in September 2001, the business name in 2002 and secured it as a trademark in 2004.
We find the name resonates with like-minded gardeners. It’s only fitting that Garden Making is the name for our magazine, launched in February 2010.
Meanwhile, you can imagine my delight when by serendipity I came across “Garden-Making,” by Liberty Hyde Bailey, first published in 1898. For those of you familiar with the tome Hortus III, his name will ring a bell. This charming book now sits among other vintage gardening books I’ve collected over the years. [He wrote 700 titles and his birthplace is a U.S. National Historic Site and museum in South Haven, Michigan.]
Here’s what Mr. Bailey wrote in his “Garden-Making,” Section 1: General Advice:
“Wherever there is sunlight, plants may be made to grow: the one plant in a tin-can may be a more helpful and inspiring garden to some mind than a whole acre of lawn and flowers may be to another. The satisfaction of a garden does not depend upon the area, nor, happily, upon the cost or rarity of the plants. It depends upon the temper of the person.
“One must first seek to love plants and nature, and then to cultivate that happy peace of mind which is satisfied with little. He will be happier if he has no rigid and arbitrary ideals, for gardens are coquettish, particularly with the novice.
“If the plants grow and thrive, he should be happy; and if the plants which thrive chance not to be the ones which he planted, they are plants nevertheless, and nature is satisfied with them.”
I like Mr. Bailey’s attitude. —