Monday, 12 April 2010

Nothing is Certain, but Death of Plants, and Taxes

Taxes. A swear word in most people's vocabulary.

Nobody likes paying them, but we all enjoy the benefits of public libraries, smooth roads and waste removal.

I had an epiphany the other day - that having a beautiful garden requires the same investment as paying taxes. You only notice the problem, when its too late, and the infrastructure isn't there.

The insight came to me when I visited a garden recently, where I had been called in to consult (a few years ago), during the preparation stage of this garden.

At the time, my client was more concerned with the final product than with what went into getting it there (and trying to get there as economically as possible).

They rashly ignored my insistence that they pay more attention to the preparation of the soil. I suggested that they should almost spend a larger portion of their budget on remedial work for the soil, than on the plants. It fell on deaf ears - or perhaps I didn't articulate it well enough.

Either way, two years later, the result is a problem that is far more difficult to address. The plants are pale and sparse, and the grass is patchy and full of weeds.

My suggestion if you're still in the early stages - pay your garden taxes now. You'll reap the rewards later (literally). If your soil is in overdraft, its not too late to start making regular payments now.
Start by topdressing your lawn with a thin layer of good, rich compost, add copious amounts of compost to flower beds, and mulch wherever possible. It may take a while, but the fruit will be so much richer.

5 comments:

Christine B. said...

Ah, but if taxes are the labor and cost of enriching the soil, and the rewards are the health of plants (i.e. the libraries and roads), who will play the role of politicians who seem to delight in raising said taxes?

Three cheers for good soil (which might be more like a good investment that ends up paying dividends than taxes). Hopefully, people are becoming more aware about the importance of good soil and the soil food web.

Best of luck helping out your client with his garden.

Christine in Alaska

Ross said...

Damn...I guess my analogy just voted me into office? And I'm not much of a fan of politicians at the best of times.

Thanks Christine, I guess I'd rather be a broker than a politician?

Ellada said...

Hello, from Greece.
The first think I look in my garden it's the soil. I have my compost and goat manure.
Without that I would not have vegetables.
Ellada.

ryan said...

An interesting analogy, but you won't get far comparing anything to taxes in my country. That word seems to promote a knee jerk reaction from a large percentage of the population, many of whom seem to also live off government benefits.
Clients who don't want to pay for design or listen to design advice seem to always end up spending more money in the end. One of our clients who wanted to design their own project just had a stonemason build a raised stone planter that looks like it should have some machine guns set up behind it. So now they have to pay for him to unbuild the top foot of it.

Ross said...

Hi Ellada - I think you're my first comment from Greece! Welcome. Yes, its strange that so few people pay attention to it.

Ryan - yes, maybe Christine's investment analogy is better! I so sympathise with you on your clients - it also makes me more aware of the need to trust other peoples expertise.

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