old fashioned

I’m Feeling A Bit Old-Fashioned Today

One morning last summer, I sat at my desk listening to an oriole sing its heart out and I became aware of just how much “in the moment” that bird was. Its entire being was dedicated to that single song.

There was magic in that music. 

And there is magic in my garden.  I feel it when I take time in the garden to listen and look – really look – at the plants and the life in them.

But this morning as I sit at my desk I’m struggling to find the magic in the Internet to match this real world or even the magic in a good print garden book.

Reading Versus The Internet

When I sit and read a book, I spend time with the words and I marvel at the images created by both the words and photographs. Five hundred words takes me 5-10 minutes to read  and a few more to absorb and reread. If I really want to remember the content, I make notes. It isn’t a fast process but I learn. (Note: I can read ever so much faster than that when I’m reading fiction or poor non-fiction.)

On my website, the average reader absorbs the headlines and takes less than a minute to “read” 500 words.  Graphics, headlines, videos, images – all are inserted in an attempt to slow down or present another avenue to learn so the visitor can absorb the data.

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I’ve spent over 40 years of my life sharing garden information and even with the wealth of technology, there are days (like today as I’m writing) when I wonder if it makes sense or am I really helping people learn how to garden better.

The progression over the past twenty years resembles this:

  • books to
  • long articles, to
  • 400-word posts, to
  • images, to
  • videos, to
  • reading only the headlines.

It’s a simplification of course, but it’s clearly a dumbing-down of information.

Oh, Oh, Feeling Old Fashioned Here

Damn, but I’m feeling a touch old-fashioned.  In my mind, I’m one of those grumpy, old head gardeners tottering around his garden harrumphing at a modern world over the back fence.

This has been on my mind this spring and I sense my next mid-life gardening crisis emerging from the shadows.

Thanks for reading

Doug

8 thoughts on “I’m Feeling A Bit Old-Fashioned Today”

  1. Nothing wrong with old fashioned.
    The world moves too fast now and I too find my attention span shortened into smaller packets when reading. I reserve my reading to things I enjoy…like your blog. And I do learn from it. Keep writing.

  2. Dear Doug,

    Reading and pondering your gardening articles and stories is one of my very favorite things to do. I have learned much regarding gardening from you. I am a ferocious reader and gardener. You have taught me how to save time and energy, very important lessons especially when one has a disability. I was one of the fortunate ones that contracted polio at a very young age, that didn’t end up in an iron lung. Thanks to two canes, I am able to get around quite well.
    Sharing your gardening wisdom is something I very much enjoy. It is exciting to help others with their gardening efforts and turn them onto you and your wisdom. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do and so willingly share!

    .

  3. I did read every word 🙂 I have been a follower for many….many years. I enjoy your stone wall (amazing!!!), your gardening advice and your musings. Hang in there.

  4. I’m still a reader of all things printed from the first letter to the last. I especially enjoy reading your musings as well as the helpful and inspirational gardening tips you impart. Thanks so much and please don’t stop!

  5. I joint your group of happy gardeners 2 weeks ago and already look out for your thoughts and tips
    for gardening in my email.
    Love as well your book on Shade Gardening.
    Thanks!

  6. Doug,
    You have helped me in my garden many times over the years. I enjoy reading notes, emails, books that you take your time to write for me. I know we don’t know each other personally but it always feels that you are writing just to me. Gardening is my path daily to quiet, peace, joy and literally walking with my God. Even now with winters grip still on my garden, I spent the day starting some seeds and planning what to plant where. It was almost as good as being outside in the garden! God’s Blessings to you and your family!

  7. I did read every word, Doug! And, I’d miss your posts if they didn’t come. I have learned a lot from you.
    Thanks.

  8. I love reading books, magazines and sometimes stuff on the internet. I tend to scratch down notes from anything and everything to do with gardening. Gardening is one of my main hobbies, as it brings joy, beauty an a haven for bees and butterflies. Up north, it is a short season, but I try to make the most of it. Bumper crops last year.

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