This week in the Flog:
- Have you ever been too busy to garden this year? This post is for you.
Have you ever missed a year in the garden? Just got too busy with spring cleaning, soccer camps, planning summer trips, and all the other things that get in the way? This post is for you.
I had someone write me the other day in response to my question:
“Don’t have a garden yet this year? Why not?”
Here’s her message:
“Hey Patrick – I’m writing in to tell you my sob story about my garden this year. I live in Oregon, and by now where I live most of my garden should be planted or getting there. But my tools are untouched in the shed. This is the third straight year that I haven’t ‘gotten around to it’ come spring time. There’s still time this year, and hopefully reading your awesome articles on gardening will get me inspired enough to start before it’s too late…”
I thought this was a really interesting comment, because it summons memories from my own childhood. I grew up on 40 acres in rural southern Oregon. We have a beautiful property there and kept a hobby farm all throughout my growing years. But not a garden. I mean, we had a garden some years. We would go through periods of having a garden for 3 or 4 years in a row. But then we would go 2 or 3 years with absolutely nothing growing in the ground.
This amazes me now. We loved our gardening. My brother, sister, parents and I would go out every night during summer, just around 7 or 8pm, when the shadows start getting long and the temperature drops to tolerable levels. Our whole family of 5 would go out to the garden and sit in the rows weeding for an hour. There is something magical about that time of day in the country; the noises of the day – birds, cicadas, neighbors – all settle down for the night and there is a time of relative stillness before the night shift starts – crickets, frogs, coyotes. It’s my favorite time of day – when the sun pours like molten gold over the fields, highlighting the flying insects working their intricate patterns in the air. There is a kind of calm warmth, a nostalgic contentedness, that permeates everything then.
It’s easy to get caught up in the modern world of machines and gadgets, and lose sight of this earth-binding experience. It’s easy to just not find the time this year. But I have a pearl of wisdom for you: there is a subtle but profound difference between ‘finding’ the time to do something important and ‘making’ the time. It is about 1. reflection to determine what your priorities in life are vs how you actually prioritize them 2. creating a game plan that works to support your true priorities and 3. repeat 1 and 2 until you are living in sync with what is really important to you. Note: this is extremely harder than it sounds.
Now imagine all those memories in the garden; those experiences of bonding not only as a family, but with your surroundings, your real environment. It’s not too late to have a garden this year – I hope you can all find the time to make it happen, and make these kinds of memories for you and yours.
Your story might connect with someone and help motivate them. Care to share your favorite time of day in the garden? And why you love it? Your experience is valuable to Sarah and others like her. Connect with the community and help motivate those that need it. Leave a comment below.