6 Lessons That I Have Learned From My Garden

My garden… it is a place where I spend a lot of time from May until September. I did not come from a long line of green thumbs, but I have developed a love for gardening over the years. We have moved and made gardens several times. Each house and each garden is a bit of new challenge, but what stays the same is that I generally tear up most of the yard space to give myself plenty of space to garden.

I like to think my garden has taught me a lot about myself and life.

tyme in the garden

Imperfection is perfection– In my real life I tend to be a perfectionist. I don’t like to do things if I can not do them perfectly, and I pick apart everything I create. Nothing is ever good enough or anything I am particularily proud of. But yet when I garden, I am never focused on perfection. I prefer more of a wild garden, or it can be somewhat described as a cottage garden over a manicured and organized garden.

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One of my gardens over the years, as it looked early in the spring.

My perfectionism is thrown aside and I do not care if my rows are straight or my colours match. In the end everything always ends up looking just fine.  When I garden, imperfection is just perfect with me.

All Living Things Need Love, Care and Attention to Thrive – It always surprises me when I hear people say that they planted a garden, but gave up because it was too weedy. To me, that is like saying ” I had a baby, but I gave it away because it kept waking up in the night” What did you think would happen?? You have to spend time in your garden, yes it is commitment and it is work. It will not reward you with food and beauty if you ignore it. You need to hoe it, till it, and sit and pick the weeds. You need to learn what your garden needs, what it is growing, and how it is doing…that means you need to give it some love every day!

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Patience – If you know me, you know I am not always patient. With myself or with others. But a garden grows in its own way and in its own time. No amount of prodding, poking, wishing, swearing is going to make it grow any faster. There are things that certainly help it along though. Things I should remember to do for myself… water, sunshine, good nutrients and a good dose of trusting and magic. Just like in life, sometimes you have to just sit back, relax, know that you have given it what it needs and trust in the magic that just is.

Earthing is real- There is an energy that comes from the earth. Gardening bare feet will suck that energy into your body, working in the dirt with your bare hands connects you as well. Forget the manicure, and toss the gloves aside. Combined with the energy from the sun and you have a good dose of curing what ails you. Plus you get all the goodness that will  heal your gut with dirt!

Meditation can happen anywhere- You do not need a fancy guru, meditation bowls, chimes, or a yoga class. Working in the garden, all alone clears the mind, and gives a sense of peace that nothing else will. I think it is the beauty, the scents of the earth and of the flowers, the sounds of the bees and the birds. If you pay attention, you will find all of your senses are involved.

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I have been known to talk to the angels or more specifically my dad or my mother in law, who left this world, but I am sure they still like to hang around and visit occasionally. ( my granddaughter likes to be in the garden and visit with the fairies)

As a bonus… if you want some alone time, most of the family will not bother you if you are in the garden with a hoe and shovel for fear of being put to work.

Bloom Where You Are Planted- For the most part…. seeds drop, and little plants just happily grow where they are. They are not worried if the plant beside them is prettier, or showier. They don’t worry about not falling into line or not fitting in.  They just grow and do the best they can, with the conditions they have. Even if it is a crack in the sidewalk. We can do that too. Even if our conditions are not that favourable… we can just keep trying and keep growing where ever we are planted.IMG_2761

Some of my greatest memories was sitting with my mother in law in her garden, chatting away as I helped her pick weeds. She was always so excited to show me what was new. Now I love to spend time in my own garden with my granddaughter. She likes to play in the flowers and skip along the stepping stones.  I like to think that maybe my love of gardening has been passed down to her, and hopefully I can pass along some of the lessons that my garden has taught me.

Now…I have to get back to my weeding!

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20 Comments

  1. I love my garden, too! Veggies and herbs taste infinitely better when you can walk outside and pick them right before cooking.

  2. I have a little 4×6 plot in the garden at my kayak club. I love growing veggies and herbs, but one big lesson this little garden has taught me is to be very, very grateful for the abundance of good food that’s available to a middle-class person like myself in this country – can’t imagine how hard and scary it would be to garden for need instead of for fun.

  3. I’ not sure which lesson I like better, they all ring so true. I think “Earthing is real” because no matter how miserable a day, a week, a period of time nothing brings me back to center faster than time spent in the dirt.

  4. Gardening is such a job! No matter what your hardscape, with clay pots and some colorful plants you can create your own little heaven. And I love your thoughts on the earth and working in the soil. The connection is powerful, especially when the sun is caressing your back and arms. Thanks.

  5. LOVE this! What a great article! I think the first is my favourite – I wrote a similar post about travertine tile – it was “perfect” because it had all of the imperfections of footprints and scratches and stuff. SUCH a great concept!

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