My friend and photographer Bob Bauer landscaped his 1/2 acre lot entirely in roses. Sure, there are a few tomatoes tucked behind the terrace, but everywhere else are roses. It takes him 3 weeks to prune them. And the burst of bloom lasts about that long. Because he could, and he didn’t cheap out.
Half measures don’t produce half-way results. They produce nothing. I didn’t learn that from photography, but from some other good friends. Nevertheless the concept applies. As I am planning my garden/orchard/livestock projects for Stray Arrow, there is an inclination to undersize. “It will be more manageable,” I think. But then I think of my garden training plot here at the palace, and remember that half of my effort is wasted because the paths are too narrow and need too much weeding. Why not wide paths lined with flowers that attract beneficial insects and make me happy? Or a chicken moat? Invest in some extra fencing and set the poultry at the weeds. So much is possible, if I think large. And the truth is, the marginal return will be greater if I don’t cheap out.
When I was out at the ranch earlier in the month, I staked out the garden. Then I sat in my lawn chair and outlined a new book and a new web project. They will require 100% measures, and then some. I know what it took to finish the Highway 89 project, so I can scale the necessary effort this time around. It’s daunting. But looking for a softer, easier way gets me nowhere I want to go. Ideas need time, cultivation and support, but then it’s time to do the work. One photograph at a time, until it’s done. And I’m moving the stakes for the garden plot further out into the pasture next time I’m at Stray Arrow.