The Joy of Gardening

Gardening is one of the most popular pastimes; everyone knows we are supposed to enjoy our garden but do we enjoy gardening or at times does it just feel like hard work? Is it similar to the Joy of Sex or 50 Shades of grey-green?

These are some tips for enjoying gardening.

Don’t Expect Perfection

Some people are never happy until every weed is removed and every plant is in the right place. This means that, even in a small garden, you will always be facing an uphill struggle to keep on top of the garden. A good gardener places emphasis on getting the important structure right, but then allows nature to have her own say as well. Don’t feel guilty just because some weeds are creeping through your borders. Don’t expect plants to behave exactly as you want. If you look at nature, you rarely see plants in a nice neat rows. (see: definition of a weed)

80 / 20 Principle

The 80 / 20 principle says that you can achieve 80% of your improvement with 20% of your effort. When gardening start with the jobs that make the biggest difference to the look of the garden. Don’t start with weeding an area out of sight by the compost heap. Start with making small changes in your main border which will make a big difference.

Take Time To Enjoy

A garden isn’t just a place of work, but somewhere to enjoy. You will always be able to find jobs to do in a garden; but, sometimes you need to say that you are just going to enjoy the garden – the weeds can wait for another day. Similarly, when you work, be focused. In one hour of concentrated weeding, you can probably do more than several odd 5-10 minutes sessions.

Garden is Living Entity.

Don’t just think about plants. Try to encourage wildlife such as birds; they help to create a feeling that the garden is being lived in rather just something to admire like a museum.

Make The Garden into an External Room

If you have worked hard on your garden; create a place where you can sit to eat and meet friends. A garden can, and should, be seen as another room. True, you are dependent on the weather, but, when it is fine make use of this space.

Year Round Garden

Flowers in December and January will be more appreciated than another flower in July. When the nights are long and weather miserable, late season plants give us a real filip.

Enjoy Growing.

There is a great feeling of satisfaction we can get by growing things from seed. We have a greater sense of personal attachment to a garden we helped to create, rather than a garden we mainly bought from the local garden centre.

Choose bold planting

Choose plants which have a wow factor. Grow extra tall sunflowers or something unusual; don’t just follow the crowds with the usual geraniums and populat bedding plants.

Be Unique

A garden is an expression of your personality. Don’t be constrained by things that you are supposed to do. Plant in a way that you like. For example, I like long grass, so I let parts of the lawn grow long; people always criticise this because they think gardening involves getting the lawn mower out every week. But, as long as you like the garden that you have created, that’s all that matters.

Harmony

If you garden with a partner, you have to share decisions. This can be difficult, if, for example, they think your thistles are actually weeds. One solution is to split up the garden, have a section where you can do whatever you want. But, don’t let the garden become a source of conflict.

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