Last year I didn’t put much energy into the garden. I was focused on marathon training, among other everyday busyness, and took the quick route (which is seldom the most productive). Last year I bought nearly all of my seedlings. They were sturdy, green-house grown organic beauties, three times bigger than what I could turn out of our kitchen window. But, that also meant they were hardy enough to plop into the soil and hope for the best. Which is just what I did. It turned out to be not so best after all.
This year I was determined the put in the time from the beginning, to foster a relationship with the plants from seed upward. This requires much less money, a bit more time, but much more attention. It turns out for me thats key. I like to nurture things. After spending all those weeks tending the tiny things I couldn’t bear to plop those spindly babies into the ground and wait for mother nature to take over. They needed hand watering. They needed compost worked into the soil before setting out. They needed row covers and fish emulsion.
I am sure if I had babied last years beautiful seedling as I did these they would have been stunning. But my focus wasn’t there. Sometimes we need to let things go and be ok with it. But, this year I’m ready to commit to my garden.
It occurs to me that this garden truth applies to many facets of my life. While it’s easy to complain that I’m not getting enough (satisfaction, skills, knowledge, support, etc) out of some job, group, or experience, a quick reflection reminds me that just like the garden: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Lots of time, attention and focus = lots of flowers, learning, satisfaction, and food! (Japanese beetles and squash bugs aside).
I wonder if Aristotle was a gardener?
Or a parent.