Berlin – “My garden should do as little work as possible,” I often hear from clients. Probably for this reason there are countless tutorials and books that deal with low-maintenance gardens. I understand (and share!) This urge to do less when it comes to blunt repetition. And yet: It helps to first clarify what can actually be called a garden. The common definition speaks of a delimited piece of land in which plants are cultivated, i.e. cared for. That alone says that it cannot be done without work.
An excursion into the philosophical will help us to further understand. Anyone who has ever come across Hannah Arendt and her theses Vita activa who knows that the great thinker has structured all human activity into a three-level hierarchy – working, manufacturing and, at the top, acting. “Work” here represents the necessary, constantly repetitive activity that does not create a permanent state per se – such as daily food intake (including the production of food, i.e. cooking), washing and so on. “Manufacturing” embodies everything that is associated with a certain inventory and duration. Ultimately, “acting” is the highest level at which something can be actively started over or fundamentally changed.