Garden Update: Zen and the Art of Garden Maintenance

The JungleMy dream to turn my backyard garden into something similar to the SRF Meditation Gardens in Encinitas, CA is still a work in progress. But I keep working on it, despite a lack of time and money. Little by little, I think I can realize something simliar in another year or two, realistically speaking.

Part of my backyard is a sloping hillside that is more akin to an untamed jungle than a serene meditation garden. But hopefully I can prune and cut back the overgrowth and create some natural paths and areas for meditation

I have clivias like those at the SRF meditation gardens. Pictured below are some clivias from the Encinitas SRF Temple.

Clivias are shade-loving plants and they thrive perfectly underneath the tall trees that shade the garden. Their bright orange-red flowers add colour to the landscape amidst the greens.


Cymbidum Orchids

Though work toward achieving such a meditation garden will take a while, my Cymbidium Orchids are in full bloom and looking very good. I credit the rains earlier this year because I wasn’t taking care of the orchid plants as I should have, and so it was mother nature that lended a hand. And now the work is a lot easier now that the orchids are blooming and quite healthy so far.

The Compost Pile

Compost Pile Is Small Right Now

The compost pile is looking rather small right now because I’d been using a lot of compost throughout the garden and adding the compost to the hillside that is full of weeds. I’m doing the lasagna gardening routine by roto-weeding the weeds and covering the ground with newspapers, sprinkling them with water and putting a good layer of compost to totally kill the weeds.

So I need to add a lot of new material to the compost pile to produce more.


Here’s some compost that is pretty much ready to add to the garden. I have a small pile of ready-to-use compost, and a bigger pile of new material that still needs to be broken down. I need to add at least a couple of bags of coffee grounds from Starbucks.



Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and

5 thoughts on “Garden Update: Zen and the Art of Garden Maintenance

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  • Tuesday May 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    haa…my fingers itch, reading your recent blog entries, carlos! you're doing a wonderful job, i think. you've planted more compared to last you, haven't you?

    i don't have a garden right now, not even a balcony –something i'm less than thrilled about. i'm doing what i can with my window sills, though of course options are really limited ><.

  • Tuesday May 18, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    hi tokyorose (quirky kitty)!

    thanks! i've been working harder at it this year, and intent on making the garden a real meditation garden, though i've realized that gardening is a form of meditation, and just being closer to nature.

    yes, you can grow a little container garden by the window! or buy a bonsai tree. i think i may buy one sometime. i had one before but it didn't last because i just wasn't as good a gardener back then. i don't think it's all about having a green thumb. it can be learned (thru trial and error.. lol).

  • Wednesday May 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    exactly! half the fun is the gardening itself, really…

    you're right, bonsai are lovely. but they just don't jive with my nomadic lifestyle. if you're not there to care for them everyday, you may as well not bother…that's my trial and error tip, right there. ^ –

  • Friday May 21, 2010 at 2:22 am

    yeah, i even have a book somewhere about growing bonsai but i respect the difficulty factor and dedication needed to truly grow a beautiful tree like that.

    but, what's good is that i can apply the basic pruning technique to trees and shrubs in the backyard to keep them small. we'll see how that goes…

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