Spring is upon us and as I work in my garden, I am reminded of the life lessons that gardening continues to teach me. I learned some of these lessons the hard way, through failure, and trial and error when I first started gardening. Of course, I am still learning! Here are some lessons my garden has taught me that have been valuable to me:
Give everything the time it needs
Before I learned that different plants emerge from their winter slumber at different times, I made many mistakes thinking that a plant was dead when, in fact, it was just taking longer to emerge in the spring. I even took a shovel to dig up a hosta that I thought was dead only to find small leaves coming out under the soil after I dug it up. OOPS! Every spring now I remember to practice my patience and give plants time to emerge before I decide whether or not they need to be replaced.
Are there things in your life that you are impatient with?
Do you have something in your life you think is dead even though it may just need more time to emerge? Are you willing to give it time?
How do you decide what is needs to be replaced in your life?
2. Pay attention to the right conditions
I have planted a few plants in sites with the wrong conditions simply because I thought I could force them to live a happy life there. The plants either didn’t grow well, didn’t bloom or wilted all together. I would get frustrated thinking there must have been something wrong with the plants when I bought them, but in fact, it was my fault they didn’t grow well. I didn’t give the plants the right conditions to thrive.
What conditions do you need in order to thrive?
How can you create the right environment for you to thrive?
3. Nourishment is important
Plants need to be fed with the right fertilizer in order to grow and resist disease. Plants that don’t have the right nutrients will not grow to their full potential. If plants are weakened because of the lack of nutrients, they are also more prone to disease.
What nourishes you?
Do you pay attention to the kind of foods you eat? What self-care practices nourish your soul--reading, exercising, time alone, crafting, prayer, volunteering, etc.?
4. You reap what you sow
Gardening is a labor of love. I have to invest time and resources into the garden in order for my garden to be a garden and not a mess of overgrown shrubs and perennials gone wild. The more time and attention I give it, the better it looks.
What amount of attention do you give to something that is important to you?
5. How you weather a storm is crucial
We have just a had a freak snow fall in the last week of April. Many people lamented the fact that all the blooming daffodils and tulips were going to die under the heavy snow. Although many flowers did lose their blossoms, many tulips and daffodils emerged unharmed. That reminded me of the fact that what is important is not whether or not a storm happens, but it is how you weather the storm and emerge from it that makes all the difference!
What storms are currently raging in your life? How are you weathering them?
What new skills or actions do you need in order to emerge from the storms without too much damage?
I hope these lessons speak to you as they continue to speak to me. What additional lessons are you learning from your garden? We would love to read your comments below!