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Slow gardening is a philosophical approach to gardening which encourages participants to savor everything they do, using all the senses, through all seasons, regardless of garden type of style. Slow gardening applies equally to people growing vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruits, as well as those who tend to their own lawn, or have an intense garden hobby such as topiary, bonsai or plant hybridizing. It actively promotes self-awareness, personal responsibility, and environmental stewardship.
Slow gardening, which is an attitude, not a "how-to" checklist of things to do or not do, was started by American horticulturist and garden author Felder Rushing, who was inspired by the Slow Food organization. The Slow food movement unleashed a worldwide wave of relief among people of all walks of life. Slow gardening has also been promoted by horticulturist and Mississippi radio show host, Felder Rushing.
The Slow gardening approach can help us enjoy our gardens year in and year out while connecting us with our neighbors. It strikes a special chord among gardeners who, though perfectly normal in all respects, have struggled to find – and follow – their bliss against the lockstep pressures of "fitting in".
The basic tenets of Slow gardening are rooted in the Gestalt approach. A major goal of all Slow movements is for adherents to become aware of what and how they are doing something while valuing how it affects the whole. The Slow gardening concept:
- uses an experiential, hands-on approach to gardening
- takes into account the whole garden (or gardener – body, mind and spirit)
- assesses what is happening in the present (the here-and-now)
- emphasizes self-awareness
- encourages personal (garden) responsibility
- acknowledges the integrity, sensitivity, and creativity of the gardener
- recognizes that the gardener is central to the gardening process.
- Kurutz, Steven (March 25, 2009). "Slow, Easy, Cheap and Green". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-01-30.