Yesterday i went with my friend Aew to the Temple Forest Monastery in Temple, New Hampshire. In Thai, this sounds something like Wat Paa Wat.
After the 6 monks had lunch, i walked around the grounds with the "work monk"--Ajahn Caganando. The potential for gardens is beautiful. My advice to him: Mow everything flat green.
Aew kept pointing out where we could plant a bed of day-lilies. "But who's going to maintain them?" i asked. A garden needs a gardener.
The Forest Monastery runs entirely on volunteer labor and gifts. If no one brings food, the monks don't eat that day. Since the volunteers and volunteer schedule is haphazard for this brand-new monastery, it's better to mow down the raspberry patch, the herb garden, and the former grape arbor. In fact, maybe it's best to not even have a compost pile either. Maybe the compost can be given to a local farmer?
What kind of garden advice is that? Practical. This advice is accepting things as they are. Period.
"You really understand us," said Ajahn Caganando.
Less is more. Less garden is more time--more time for meditating and more time for waking up to this very life.