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If You Need Patience, Try Gardening

Karl Palachuk

Karl W. Palachuk
January 3, 2008

There are many great aspects of gardening. One of the greatest is patience. You simply cannot garden quickly.

In fact, one of the most important skills a gardener needs is the ability to do nothing:

– Don’t prune when it’s not needed.
– Don’t fertilize when it’s not needed.
– Don’t plant when you shouldn’t plant.
– Don’t water when you shouldn’t water.
– Don’t even weed when you shouldn’t weed!

I’m not kidding.

The most important part of gardening is waiting.

You put in your plants, make sure they’ve got what they need. And then you just wait. A garden needs to “overgrow” just a bit before you can start pruning and shaping.

Sometimes you get eager to just do something — anything — in your garden.

But if you go playing around everyday, pruning and digging, pulling and watering, your plants will grow smaller and smaller until they disappear!

I’ve lived in my house for just over four years. I’ve had the pleasure of working on my yard for four summers. And most of that “work” has consisted of putting things in place and standing back to see what happens. I’d say five percent gardening and ninety-five percent waiting.

After two years I liked my yard. After three I loved it. And now, after four, my yard does everything it’s supposed to do.

– We have hummingbirds twelve months out of the year.
– We have butterflies, finches, and doves nesting in our yard.
– We have beautiful flowers with something blooming every day of the year.

In other words I have the garden I wanted.

And I would never have had it without patience.

I can’t wait until next year.  🙂

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