Have you seen those signs that say, “Welcome to my weed patch?” This sign describes my gardening ability to the T. Growing up, my mother had multiple gardens on our one acre of land. All summer long my brother and I would be out there pulling weeds for my mother to keep her garden going in the hot Texas sun. I even remember telling my brother that I hated gardening and will never have one of my own.
The joke was on me when I moved into my house and the landscaper asked me if I wanted a spot for a garden. I optimistically said yes. For the past 6 years, I have tried my hand at gardening and each year is an adventure.
There are a few things that I have learned from gardening that can be transferred to everyday life. The first lesson that I learned was when decided to grow cucumbers. Did you know that they grow on vines and take over a small garden if you let them? This was a lesson that I learned once the cucumbers started to produce in the garden. I had to learn how to adjust and make a new game plan on how to organize the plants so the others would not have been swallowed up by the leaves. To adjust I found a tall wire garden fence to help make the cucumber plant grow vertically instead of horizontally.
Another lesson that I have learned from gardening is that it is okay to try and make mistakes. Last year was my first time trying winter sowing in my garden. This is an idea that you can plant your seeds to start growing outside before the ground is ready. You plant them in milk jugs. The milk jugs act like a mini greenhouse that protects the fragile plants from the harsh snows that Colorado likes to get the last week of April. I took a gamble to see if this method really did work. I figured if it did not, then I would be able to go to the local garden store and purchase new plants. Experimenting to see if the plants would grow gave me the confidence that I need to continue to garden this year.
One big lesson that I have learned from gardening is that growth goes slowly. Change takes time. Those tiny little seeds are changing to become a big cucumber vine that will consistently produce for you during the summer months. The idea of growth takes time can be used in a variety of day-to-day activities. It takes time for us to learn a new skill or habit.
Gardening is slowly growing on me as the years pass because I am excited to see what lesson I will learn from each season. Each year my garden reminds me to grow slow, it is okay to make mistakes, and to adjust as needed when things don’t go right.