The idea that history repeats itself has long been present in the interpretation of the way we behave, dress, and value life as a nation. Our values in gardening have also began to shift in a cyclical way. As humanity grows and progresses, its understanding of nature is also expounded. This increased understanding builds on the ever-expanding technology formed from our unmistakably human ingenuity. However, for all of our technological advancement, more and more people have been reverting back to the roots of gardening.
Take notice of the changes affecting the production of our food. The food industry is a complex network with a machinery skeleton, business muscle, a pumping heart of farmers, and chemicals rushing through its veins. The average person is as disconnected from the production of their food as they are the production of all the other consumer goods they purchase. Just like their car, cell phone or home appliances, their food is the byproduct of some mysterious place they have never seen. Recently though, a great migration of people restless with the weight of mass food production have began growing their own food simply and organically. Once again, families are reclaiming their personal connection with the food they eat. In these gardens, pesticides which made it possible to produce genetically compromised food for the masses can be eliminated to produce food for a family. Nutrients are derived from composting materials that would normally be wasted and pests are controlled by natural additives. For the first time in many years, growing your own food is now widely considered a benefit to one’s quality of life rather than merely a defining characteristic of the developing world.
Aside from the way we eat, the way we expand on the beauty of nature has also began to resemble the past. As if an inherent longing is compelling them, many people are reclaiming the more vertical features of plants. Vertical gardens in homes and green walls as part of large scale commercial and urban development projects seem to replace the more natural and lush landscape compromised by our ever-expanding population. Cities which were grey concrete wastelands have begun to come alive with the added presence of tropical plants gracing every inch of an edifice. Trees which were lost can be substituted by planting beautiful features on the building which stand in their former place. As humans become more aware of their instinctive need for more contact with nature, our equally instinctive ability to create new methods of implementing nature into our urban areas will surely improve. Each project builds on our knowledge and collective experience and makes these projects more practical for each individual.
Furthermore, even our smaller luxuries can benefit from the influence of the past. For instance, terrariums and dish gardens which were incredibly popular in the seventies are making a comeback. Terrariums can be built to include a vast array of plants, many of which would be unsuited for our area without the humidity provided by the closed construction of the glass container. To add even more retrospect, terrariums can be constructed from antique glass containers. Perhaps the recent success of terrariums is their practicality and manageability. Plants which would be impossible to maintain under the dry, unyielding conditions of air-conditioned rooms, can thrive in the warm, moist environment in a jar. Also, our full lives can benefit most from anything compact. Terrariums can be designed to blend peacefully with your style and conveniently add the element of life to your space without imposing on the other aspects of the room.