(English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

Semi philosophical rantings on what a WikiGardener is.

This comes from a statement : increase in traffic on the french wikipedia, and the subsequent increase in poor edits by willingfull newbies as well as the increase of low level vandalism (I will avoid to talk of who you know), has not been followed by increase of weeding activity. Fortunately, our favorite bots, fixing mispeelings, erroneous links and interwikipedia links are precious and very helpful.
However, even though industrial revolution brought much relief from mindless and tiring human activity, bots still needs to be set and directed by human hands, and automates can't do everything.
So, we increasingly need weeding.

It seems many old hands got tired to do it. New hands participate little to do it as well, I think some are just not interested, others do not feel concerned, perhaps some do not realise the need, and finally, I fear many think it is just admin duty to do so.

But it is not.

What do I mean by a gardener ? I mean someone taking care of a garden and teaching others to do as well.

Wikipedia is a garden, a wild garden we all cultivate together, growing fruits and vegetables to feed the world needs of information. Where also grow beautiful flowers articles we can be amazed of. Setting alleys where we can walk hands in hands, discovering new plants, inadvertently crushing a bug, picking up a fruit or two, caressing the petal of a flower, taking a picture of an opening poppy, marvelling at a butterfly visiting, smelling warm vapors of a fig fallen on the floor on which ants feed, scratching earth to figure its humidity, looking for chesnuts under dead yellowish leaves, stroking that old olive tree, swearing after wetting our shoe in a watery hole, noting the presence of weeds and wondering whether we should just accept their existence, or energically remove them, and generally speaking, every day, under rain or under sun, being impressed by the artwork we all set together.

We do not want this kinda old traditional french garden, totally artificial. Mathematically defined on maps before being done by the gardener in chief. With carved bushes, perfectly round pond, polite grass, beautiful roses with no thorns (because a rose with no thorn has usually no perfume), in short, no surprise whatsoever. That would not be fun and lovely. That would not be Wikipedia.

So, we want a wild garden. But a wild garden does not appear miraculously, magically, from nowhere.
It must be cultivated to be a good garden.
We must find and perhaps even select the best seeds. We must prepare the soil. We must set canals to bring water and to favor drainage of humid areas. We must set walls or wooden frame to provide support for those species which need to go up. We must provide shade for those which fear the direct sun. Have butterflies and animals and wind help to transport the pollen from one plant to another.

Then, only, can we put the seed in the soil.

But we should not just go away then. We also need to help the soil to breath around the little plant. Provide nutrients if necessary. Water frequently. Perhaps remove some of the weeds. It is perhaps not necessary to remove all of them, just enough so that everyone has room to grow peacefully. Only the proeminent weeds should go away. The ones that prevent the others from growing, the ones that take all the room, the ones that eat nutriments necessary to the other plants, the ones that kill the other plants. Competition is good, as long as no plant take over. And bugs are important as well, as long as they do not kill the growing plant.

Some trees benefit of being cut regularly, to remove the dead or diseased branches. Just as some plants may be used to produce w:fr:compost, while others must be burned because they carry disease. That is just so. The job has to be done somehow. By someone. Nothing happens magically.

This is gardening. Gardening is not only putting a seed in the soil, and be proud, but also to do all what is necessary so that the garden is healthy.

I think some people prefer some of the gardening activities to others, perhaps burning the dead leaves rather than shopping for new seeds. That is fine to me. I also think some people just don't like gardening so much, or do not understand what gardening is. They plant a seed and just wait for others to take care of everything else - and usually loudly complain when the job is not done properly. That is not fine by me.

But, whether this is fine or not fine, ultimately, the job has to be done, and the truth is, there is too much work load right now on too few gardeners to keep the garden happy.

How could we involve our non-sysops more in gardening activity ?

please, provide ideas...and find mine at w:fr:Utilisateur:WikiJardinier.