Gardening Life Lessons

Gardening Life Lessons

Gardening can teach you a lot about life.
Let’s talk about what can you learn from gardening.

Appreciate Small Things.

Small beginnings are essential in plants and trees. Oak trees that stand over 50 feet tall started from just a tiny seed inside of an acorn.

Small beginnings can lead to amazing outcomes in life. Think about the amount of your first paycheck from your first job, the number of seconds you could hold your first plank, or how long it took you to read your first book.

When you set goals in life, don’t forget that getting started is the hardest part. Starting small is the key, and it leads to better progress. Your garden may be a few rows of tiny little plants, but soon you will have a basket of home-grown tomatoes and yellow squash!

Chives and tomatoes

Location is Everything.

Maybe an outdoor garden isn’t feasible. Maybe you have a small porch or not one at all. In any case, choosing a location with sunlight is key. Companion planting is also key. You want to plant flowers with your pepper and tomato plants because the bees need to pollinate the flowers. Basil thrives being planted with tomatoes. Chives do well to deter pests also. 

Just like companion planting, it’s important to be close to the resources you need for growth. You need resources like food and water for physical growth, but you need friends and family for emotional and psychological growth.

Part of your personal development is knowing who you should let occupy your personal space and how to position yourself for success. There may be a time in your life when you chose to relocate due to a job offer. You may even consider moving closer to family to help a loved one. Life is about choices, and you should choose where to position yourself based on where your resources are so you can grow and thrive like your cucumber plants.

garden fails

Failure is the key to success & change is good.

There is no such thing as 100% success in gardening. When you are dealing with nature, there are no guarantees.

Some gardeners battle against the elements, fighting to put a specific plant in one place, only to find that the same bugs return year after year to destroy your best-laid plans. ‘Why don’t the chemicals work?’ ‘What am I doing wrong?’ When you’re beating your head against the wall because the same old thing isn’t working anymore, maybe it’s time to reevaluate and try something new.

There isn’t a successful person who hasn’t failed at something on their road to success. If you could only take one skill to a deserted island, being able to fail well and learn from failure will be the secret to finding your way out.

Trusting that the future holds the possibility of better things, new growth, and sunshine (as well as much-needed rain) is the first step to making good things happen.

alone in garden

It’s okay to be alone sometimes.

A few people revel in aloneness, but many more of us find it insufferable to be alone, in the quiet, with our own thoughts. The magic of a garden is that we aren’t bothered sweating and pulling weeds, and we feel the satisfaction and pride of a well-tended garden, absolutely alone. If you must choose between sitting in a quiet room or gardening meditation, it’s far easier to empty your mind doing physical work in a garden than sitting on the floor.

Enjoy the beauty. Read a book or listen to music outside. Then, in the quiet of your mind, surrounded by the noisy chaos of wind, bees, birds, even wild turkeys yapping… you will find that being alone is often good.

acorn seeds

The unexpected is beautiful and magnificent.

Just like our gardens, life is short, filled with the unexpected, failure, and adversity, and never seems to go as we planned. Its beauty is also magnificent as we experience love, laughter, adventures, and small joys that can fill us with a lifetime of happiness.

Almost none of the happiest moments in life are planned – instead, it’s the spontaneity of life that is the most delightful part. Let us revel in the little things and find joy in the dirt.

Want to know how I got started in Gardening?
Read “My Covid Garden” I wrote in 2021. 

Dawn Hurlebaus