Most gardeners who read this blog, I’m assuming, have all senses working at normal levels. Sure, as we grow older our hearing wanes and our eyesight becomes fuzzy but in general most of us don’t miss out completely on any one of our senses?
But what if we did? Hypothetically, if you were told that you were going to lose one of them and you had the choice of which one to ditch, which one could you omit – and still enjoy gardening?
Before you make up your mind let’s recap what it is that you would actually lose.
I take my hat off to those gardeners who have learned to enjoy their hobby without the use of their eyes. This would have to be the sense that I would struggle to do without the most because gardening is a very visual experience. It would be similar to painting without eyesight – while you may have completed a masterpiece you will never get to enjoy the finished product and this, too me, would be debilitatingly frustrating.
Without sight you would struggle to choose seeds, enjoy your garden vistas, dig, hoe, rake or do anything without the aid of some assistance.
Surely hearing’s a peripheral sense. One that we could easily omit and still enjoy our gardening experiences. Or is it?
No birds. No running water. No rustle of leaves as the wind whistles through the upper canopy. No excited giggles from children as they explore your garden. Not to mention how dangerous it would be to use power tools in the garden without this sense. You wouldn’t be able to tell if the lawn-mower was on or off or if the edger was labouring and needing some attention.
It would still be quite difficult to garden without this sense.
What gardener in their right mind would give this one up? Taking time to ‘smell the roses’ would be as useless as making ice cubes in Antarctica and we would be completely oblivious to the scents of spring.
Fragrant blooms and perfumed herbs would be wasted in our garden and while it possibly wouldn’t affect our gardening practise it would certainly limit our enjoyment.
One benefit would be that you could stick your head in a bag of rotting manure and not be affected – but that’s about the only plus.
On the surface our sense of touch may seem as incidental as the sense of smell. However, probe into a day without this sense long enough and you will soon discover that it’s far more essential than one might expect. Without the sense of touch planting out seedlings would be an almost impossibility and you can forget sowing seed. Picking lettuces would be a challenge and even navigating your garden beds with a hoe would prove difficult.
Touch is one of those senses that we take for granted, moreso than the others. Yet living without it would make gardening a chore more than an enjoyable pastime. It could actually be as important as our sense of hearing.
If there were one that we had to give up then surely taste will be the fall-guy! Heck, what’s taste got to do with gardening anyway?
For starters, try growing vegetables without it – you’ll end up enjoying turnips as much as vine-ripened tomatoes. But then you probably wouldn’t bother ripening them on the bush because it wouldn’t matter. In fact, you could pick them when they were still green and delight in them just as much.
And herbs would just be space fillers!
So, which one could you easily lose and have no effect on your gardening enjoyment?