Sometimes I stumble through life making the same mistakes over and over. For the past year I’ve been gardening in earnest and am determined to learn from my mistakes. Rain has drifted in again, so a good time to pause and reflect on Life’s lessons learned in the garden….

1) When the task is overwhelming

where to start?Break it down to achievable goals; in a realistic time-scale especially if you are a “Now” person.

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2) Label everything! Even the best minds can’t remember every single thing

Arum maculatum Cuckoo pintOr you’ll spend several months wondering if you inadvertently dug it up;

there you are!until the following Spring! (Yes, it is labelled – now)  Cuckoo-pint, Arum maculatum

3) Put your glasses on and use hand tools!

weed?Which of us hasn’t wheeched  the wrong thing out or kept the weed while squinting at it? Spring is the time to put on your glasses and get on your knees, no, not to beseech some gardening deity but to correctly ID that plant. It does help if you wait until the true leaves have grown too. Leonurus cardiaca syn. Motherwort;  does look like a weed if you are squinting at it and vice versa. Now I have lots of baby Motherwort and a lot less of the weed (I keep identifying and forgetting its name). A good “Wild Flower” book is really useful.

4) Keep a gardening journal… 

keep a journalVery helpful when trying to keep track of everything and remember what did well where, how the weather was etcetera…

5) Encourage wildlife in the garden…

Robin BabyBirds will eat all sorts of critters that would otherwise eat your plants, lure them in and they will happily stay. Bees, Hoverflies, Wasps, Dragonflies, Bats, Butterflies are all the gardener’s allies….

6) Love your composter!

Black goldAfter two years you’ll have beautiful  compost to add to the garden, black gold. I have three, one about to be filled, another to be emptied and the third cooking nicely. There is also a “clamp” made from the turves cut out for new beds which will make a new strawberry bed in the future.

7) Flower finds in the garden…

Flower or Weed?If a plant survived years of neglect while the weeds ran riot – be careful – it may behave like a weed itself regardless how pretty it is. Plants falling into this category include: Hosta, Daylily, Periwinkle – you just have to be brave enough  to control them.

8) Ask for help (how ever out of character that might be). Of course you may have to ask judiciously, did you really want the buttercup carefully weeded around and all the Chamomile pulled up?

9) Celebrate the first fruits…

Celebrate the first fruit!How ever small.

10) Relax and enjoy the garden, reflect on the days activities (possibly with a beverage in hand)…

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Enjoy the garden – thanks for stopping by!

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