Jun 012015
 

Open space in a garden

 

You have seen all the magazine article about how to have the perfect garden, how to grow the biggest flowers, how to feed your family in a garden the size of a shoe box.  Well, what if you have read all of those article and still can not seem to get a garden in place.  Perhaps you have doing one of these 5 things that ensure that perfect garden with the biggest flowers in the smallest space never happens.

1. Fall into the vortex of garden catalogs and never find your way out.  The flowers are always in bloom, the vegetable plants produce blemish free produce, and the compost piles are even in orderly fashion.  Just when you think you have seen every picture of every variety available, a new magazine arrives in the mail from yet another vendor who carries even more options.  For fear of missing “the exact thing you are looking for” you work your way through that catalog, taking note of even more options.

While it is not a bad thing to look through these catalogs, they give you some great ideas after all, you have to close them at some point and just make a decision.  Real life happens, and not with a photo team around.  You will have weeds, not every flower is going to bloom evenly and all at the same time, and your compost pile will look like the work in progress that it is. Choose a variety you think sounds good, not perfect, and close the magazines.  Once your garden is started, or there is 3 feet of snow on the ground outside, you can open them back up and drool over the basket full of the newest variety of flower or rarest heirloom carrot that just became available.

2. Analyze every detail till you give yourself a headache and have to go back to bed.  Is your yearly aspirin expense more than what you spend on seeds?  Do you know to the minute how much sun your garden gets? Every bed? Have you set rain/temperature/wind gauages all over the yard to find the exact spot to match what you are wanting to plant, yet there is nothing planted?  Do you know 10 different varieties of tomatoes and to the day when they should start producing?  How about the history of 10 various heirloom potatoes and their prefered growing soils?  While these things are not bad, if you have spent all your time figuring this out yet nothing is in the ground, then you are missing the forest for the trees.  Take a breath, close your eyes, and throw a ball.  Where it lands is where you are going to plant.  Sometimes, that is all you need to do to get started.  🙂

3. Live in front of the weather report, waiting for the ‘perfect’ temperature/dew point/phase of the moon/etc.  I am going to save you a lot of aggravation here, it is never going to be exactly right and it is called a “forecast” for a reason.  It is not called a “thus saith the Lord” report, for a reason.  It may tell you that is is going to rain in 5 minutes, then 1 minute later change to say it will start raining in 8 hours.  Yes, you need to know if there is going to be a frost, what phase of the moon it will be tonight, what the average temperature is, if the soil is warm enough, etc.  What you do not need to do is wait till they all align exactly, because it will never happen.

4. Compare your plant selections to those of I-have-been-gardening-since-the-Great-Depression neighbor, coming to the conclusion you could never be so great, so you go back to bed. Been there, done that.  There is a beautiful home down the street from us – white house with black shutters, garden shed to match, not a week in the flower beds, mulch always in place … you get the idea.  I would walk by on the way to the library with the kids, always making sure they never walked off the sidewalk or even gave the landscaping a second glance.  If they did, they might mess it up.  It was obvious someone put a lot of time into this yard.  I also would ask myself why it was that my flowers did not look that great, or why I had weeds but they didn’t.

One day I found the answer to my question.  The landscaping company was out doing maintenance on the yard.  🙂  A team of 3 guys, a trailer, and a pick-up truck where there to work on the yard.  That is a far cry from myself, the kids’ wagon and my sedan.  After that, I enjoyed the yard but stopped trying to berate myself.  I would still love to get there one day, and am working on making my yard require less maintenance but still look good.  For now, though, I’ll enjoy their yard and let the kids enjoy ours.

5. Plant your garden, then sit and begin the yearly Front Porch Rabbit Count.  You would not want to mess up the numbers so you never do anything to scare them away. It took me a few years, and one changed glance out the window, to realize that the fencing I had up around my vegetable beds was useless.  The young rabbit that was running from something jumped right through the holes in the fencing.  If that does not make you feel like you just wasted your time and money, then I am not sure what else would.  Right then and there I decided to replace the fencing with smaller poultry fencing and add in metal stakes instead of the cheap woods ones I had been using.  The stakes were breaking anyway, and well obviously the fencing was doing no good for the rabbits.

The battle between man and nature is not a new one, nor is it one that we will win in the future.  This does not mean that we just throw up our hands, it means we strive to find a new solution.  Rabbit stew anyone?

Whether it is gardening or something else in your life, there comes a point at which all your plans need to hit the pavement and happen.  I have great plans for my mornings.  Every night I go to bed thinking:

  • I will get up early and do X, Y,Z before everyone gets up.
  • This would be the perfect time to learn more about ____.
  • This will be the week/month/year that I finally finish reading through the Bible. (I began the 1 year plan 3 years ago.)

Often I have to remind myself to finish what I have started, that I need to be able to handle what I already have or am trying to do, before beginning something new.  At times it becomes apparent that I have to say “No” to something.  Often though, it is a scheduling/motivation issue.  My morning used to be great, and not just because I am a morning person.  It was because I had direction, I knew what I was going to do each day when I woke up.

Crystal Paine has a great 14-day online course talking about just that – making your mornings great, beginning your day with a purpose.  Tomorrow is the first day Make Over Your Mornings is offered.  The prices start off very low and increase as the day goes on.  (Note the times are Eastern Standard.)

The Crazy-Can’t-Miss-Low-Low-Low Launch Sale Prices:

  • 12 a.m. to 7 a.m. ET on June 2, 2015 – just $5!!! 
    {This is worth getting up early for!}
  • 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. – just $7!
  • 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. – only $10!
  • 5 p.m. – 12 a.m. – only $13!

Our mornings have been … rough recently, to put it lightly.  If I am honest about it, a lot of it is because Mama is not up and ready so the kids do not feel the need to follow their routines from the get-go.  In an effort to curtail these behaviors, I am going to participate in the 14-day Make Over Your Mornings course.

Is this the perfect time?  Nope.  We have a short camping trip planned during this time, swim team practice is starting, a few trees are being taken down in our yard, and I need to schedule an electrician to install electricity.  Just like gardening, though, if I were to wait for the ‘perfect’ time/schedule/day, it would never happen. So tomorrow it is.

Will you join me in making our mornings better?

 

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