Tuesday, May 23, 2017

R&R The Ikea Effect

The end of "Spring Clean Up/Start Up" is almost over. Most flowerbeds have been weeded, newspaper put down and mulch (eight cubic yards so far) applied. Brown metal edging has been placed around five of the beds to prevent the mulch from washing away. Trees have been "limbed up" (there are few things as tiring to me as using a pole trimmer) and hauled to the front of the yard for pick up. More sticks and branches than I can count have been picked as well. (It seems as if I finish this just in time for the next storm to blow down more sticks and branches.) New roses (Rosa) from David Austin and bulbs (Lilium) from White Flower Farms have been received, planted and fed. Daffodils (Narcissus) and Summer Snowflake (Leucojeum) have been cut back and placed in the compost pile. Azaleas (Rhododendrun) have been cut back and other assorted shrubs trimmed and shaped. Crepe Myrtles (Lagerstroemia) have been inspected and treated (sort of, see last month's blog for details) for Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale. This is gardening; this is what all gardeners are doing this Spring and do every Spring. So, is this work or love or both?
Social scientists have described a phenomena know as "The Ikea Effect" Ikea, a Swedish retailer, is known for selling items that require "some assembly". What social scientist have discovered is that people place added, inordinate value on items that required some "sweat equity" from the customers. The customers feel that their piece of assembled furniture is on a par with that crafted by a professional. So, to apply "The Ikea Effect" to gardening: is what we do a labor of love or a love that's created by the labor? Do we love at first sight or learn to love? Just something to muse on before heading back to the garden.
Here are a couple of poems to think on. One by William Blake and one by Gary R. Ferris
Image result for william blake
William Blake

The Garden of Love

I went to the Garden of Love.
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of the Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not, writ over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore,

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires

Why Do We Labor

Why do we labor and work so hard?
Is it for riches that leave us scarred?
What makes us rise and begin each day?
When for courage and strength is what we pray.
We do things we hate so deep.
Murmur and complain until we are asleep.
What makes us choose the things that we hate?
Almost like sorrow has become our fate.
Why can't we choose the things that we love?
Things that bring joy and come from above.
Why do we labor for all that is vain?
Somebody tell me. This is insane.
Why do we labor for all that is vain?

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