19 December 2009

What Sustains the Garden?

The Economist has an article of interest, "Of Gods and Gardens" from the winter issue of the magazine, Intelligent Life. Here's a link to the column.

The centerpiece of the article is a 1944 essay by John Wisdom.

The parable: Two people return to their long neglected garden and find a few of the old plants are surprisingly vigorous among the weeds.

One says to the other, It must be that a gardener has been coming and doing something about these weeds.

The other disagrees.

They pitch their tents and watch.

No gardener is ever seen.

The believer wonders if there is an invisible gardener, so they patrol with bloodhounds but the bloodhounds never give a cry.

The believer insists that the gardener is invisible, has no scent and gives no sound.

The sceptic doesn't agree, and asks how an invisible, intangible, elusive gardener differs from an imaginary gardener, or even no gardener at all.

So, is it Mother Nature? And, who is she?

What do you think and believe about what makes the garden survive.

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