1. Planning is good.
Don’t decide to just dig a hole and drop a plant in it without much consideration of how tall or how invasive that species can be. In life, too, stop to think what the consequences of an action taken in haste will be before problems arise.
2. Preparation is key.
Have you taken the time to till the soil? Have you leveled that slope in the garden bed that causes all of the water to run downhill? So many times we undertake a project before doing any thinking, reading or consideration of what the best approach should be. Preparation doesn’t take extra time, it will save time in the long run.
3. Know your tools and have the right ones on hand.
Just as you can’t plow an acre with an axe, you can’t fell a tree with a plow. Whatever the activity it always goes faster and turns out better when you have the tools you need for the job. Sometimes this means asking someone to show you how they accomplished a task and actually taking their advice.
4. Prepare for failure and always have a ‘Plan B’.
Not every seedling you plant will thrive and not every garden design will please the eye. Being prepared to change course and try something new when the first option isn’t working shows wisdom.
5. There is a time for rest.
The garden is different in winter, when the earth rests and slows down. The plants stop producing leaves and fruit and concentrate instead on conserving their energy and extending their roots deeper. We, too, need rest and time for reflection. Burnout happens when we don’t take time for ourselves.
6. It’s good to get your hands dirty.
Gardening is an up-close-and-personal affair. You have to get your hands in the dirt to really understand what it’s all about. Unrealistic expections happen when we stand back and tell others what to do without clearly knowing what we’re asking.
7. Use all your senses.
Sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste are the ways in which we experience and understand the garden. Take away the senses and you miss much of the joy of life — not just in the garden but in our everyday activities.
8. Make friends with the weather.
Every single day will not be sunny and mild. Storms will appear out of nowhere and wreak havoc on everything they touch. It will be too hot or too cold or too wet or too dry. When you spend time observing the weather, you’ll find yourself at peace with the sudden changes it brings and you’ll bless blue skies and rain clouds equally.
9. Have respect for every living thing.
Icky spiders and graceful thoroughbreds coexist in the same barn. Why is it that we love one and not the other so much? Learning to appreciate every type of creepy-crawly insect, invasive plant or destructive animal (no matter how irritating it might be) will be one of the best gifts you can receive.
10. Time passes
Seasons come and go. Everything that lives, also dies. Appreciate today for today. And remember to say ‘Thank You’.