Garden Planning

Highs of 10F had been burying my head in gardening books this week, thinking thoughts of spring and summer.  My city garden is small with an apple tree, an overgrown shrub and not much else. I plan to make it lovely.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a gardening book called the Rusty Rake Gardener, by David and Cathy Cummins. They suggest to begin by drawing a plan of your garden so that’s what I did this week.  With my bare-bones garden, the drawing was simple enough to do.

Garden plan next to me,  I began, almost without thinking, to go through the steps John and I talk about in The Plan. What’s good about my garden? What’s not so good? How do I want to use the garden? What’s its purpose in other words? I was surprised at how quickly ideas came to me, especially once I focused on how I was going to use the garden. A picture of my garden, all the plants thriving and lush, weed and pest free, became really easy to see. My once sparse drawing of my garden, soon filled up with notes and circles where future plants will be. I got quite excited about my ideas, showing my family, in excruciating detail, everything noted on the plan. If there hadn’t been snow on the ground, I would have been out there trying to dig. As it was, I was out in my winter gear, measuring this and that.

Then I read some notes I had made about a garden from a previous home and I was brought back down to earth. A garden isn’t made in one season or even two.  I needed to sit back and think of how to create my dream garden in stages. I needed to figure out a budget. What would the priorities be? As I started drilling down, I was reminded of a few things: firstly, this part of the process of creating my garden plan is enjoyable too. Maybe not with the manic high of the first stage, but in a more relaxed and quiet way. Secondly, it’s important to take my time and not rush the process. Sitting and thinking about things is good. Creating options and making informed choices is good.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I remembered how these same things apply to creating a plan for your life. There are moments are elation as breakthroughs are achieved and moments of contemplation. There are also moments of frustration. All part of the process.  The challenge, for me and perhaps for you as well, is keeping focused with an eye on each step I need to take. To keep moving as days turn into weeks. To actually do all the things I’ve put on my plan.  I remind myself, it will all be worth it.

Helen