Love Your Garden Again

February 5, 2013

Maybe it's that you've been inside too long. Maybe storms have wrecked your garden. Or maybe you just got tired of gardening after all these years.

There comes a time when -- like in any relationship -- you need to do some work to love your garden again. Here's how:

1) Look at what's good.

Where is it good? What's working? Perhaps one of your perennial fruit bushes is bursting into bloom amidst a flooded mess, or you have volunteer tomatoes coming up everywhere. Embrace what's good about your garden and help it become even better.

2) Face what's wrong.

Many times we ignore the problems in our gardens and hope that they'll go away. But they won't, unless we take action.

Rip out the plants you dislike or that no one ate any of last year. Plant that area that always floods with water-loving edibles. The part of your yard that you had to constantly water all summer? Create a cactus garden there, or fill it with drought-resistant Mediterranean plants and colorful garden decorations.

3) Change what most needs changing.

It can be overwhelming when you feel as if EVERYTHING about your garden needs to change. It can make you feel like it's hopeless. But it's not hopeless -- all you need is to prioritize.

Think about what you dislike MOST about your garden and take action to change THAT. Is it that you're on view to everyone when you go outside? Buy some of your favorite fruit trees and create an edible hedge to block them out. Is the soil so awful that nothing will grow? Get it tested and either amend it or have some good soil brought in.

Once you change that one thing you hate so much then everything else will seem easier to manage.

4) Make your time together special.

Don't always do your drudgery work outside. Take your breaks in a shady area of your garden if it's hot, or a sunny warm spot if it's cold. Sit and do some reading, or whatever you most like to do, or just watch the butterflies and the birds.

When you come to see your garden as a fun, relaxing place, you will want to go outside and spend time with it.

What do you think? Have you ever gone through a time where you disliked your garden? How did you come to love it again?

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