I cleaned up most of my garden over the weekend to get it ready for spring and summer, and after surveying how much better it looked after my perennials got a haircut and the weeds were removed, I was reminded of a time when a friend of mine once told me something along the lines of her yard would never look like mine because she doesn’t possess a “green thumb.” I had to tell her two things:
- The garden she sees now is a result of many plants that didn’t make it. For every plant that lives; two, three, possibly even four or more plants died in that spot! I worked at a couple local greenhouses/plant nurseries, and have gardened for residential clients for many years in order to gain perspective on what works where. Gardening at home for myself has deepened that knowledge even more, as I get to observe plants day to day.
- She’s not obsessed with plants, so why should her yard look anything like mine? Though we have a lot in common, she has a far different skill set than I do, and interests that extend past the garden gate
Back to her initial statement, the question that comes to my mind is – When was the last time that I successfully did something that was a foreign concept to me the first time I tried it? Perhaps cooking something wildly out of my comfort zone? But I didn’t cook Anthony Bourdain’s Duck a l’orange recipe the first time I ever set out to apply heat to food, so I can’t count that example. I was able to pull that off (served along with potatoes cooked in duck fat, and chocolate mousse for dessert) because I had built upon cooking skills learned over the years. One of my first cooking experiences involved a tortilla, ramen noodles, shredded cheese, and a microwave. That is cooking failure. I may not be the best home cook in the world, but I’m worlds away from being the “cook” I was 15 years ago. My current garden is like that…years of making botanical mistakes to learn from, in order to have something I can be proud of. Is it the best garden ever? Far from it, but for me, it’s constantly evolving, getting better, and is a place I find endlessly fascinating.
Now I must apply that same method of thinking to running my first business. Not every idea I have is going to work, but it’s up to me to learn why they didn’t work, and learn from them to produce ideas that do work. Some ideas are bigger gambles than others, but trying is the key. I know I have a learning curve to face, but I’m pleased to say that this season is bringing me fresh opportunities that I am really excited to explore and be a part of. Those that come to fruition shall be a lot of work, but work that is deeply rewarding on many levels. An enormous thank you to everyone who has let me roam their gardens with my pruners and trowel in the last year – thank you for giving me a chance to chase my plant fancy. Here’s to a new gardening year!
If your garden is what a ramen burrito is to duck a l’orange, drop me a line – I’m doing spring clean-ups right now!