Whether it’s a little basil plant on your windowsill or a lush backyard garden with flowers and vegetables, taking time to care for the plant life around you can have a massive impact. The ritual of gardening goes well beyond just planting, watering, and waiting for something to happen. It’s an opportunity to pause, and to reconnect with yourself and with nature. Observing how plants progress can hold meaningful lessons for life.
At GOODLAND, we’re fans of spending time with plants. And now that spring has arrived, we wanted to share a few mini lessons that come from gardening, to help inspire you to put your hands in the dirt this upcoming season.
If gardening and tending to plants is anything, it may be an exercise in patience and care. Nothing happens overnight. If you plant a seed in some soil, you must water it everyday and show it some sunlight. Days could go by with nothing happening, but you have to simply trust that something will.
Mini lesson: Nothing happens without consistency and trust. What tiny everyday actions in your life don’t have much of a visible result, but will have a big reward?
Allow for some chaos
Picture a jungle floor covered with leaves and insects. When you think about it, nature is a beautiful mess. It’s not as if everything is neat and organized and tidy, yet it’s perfect exactly as it is.
Mini lesson: Realistically, we can’t expect ourselves to allow for chaos in all parts of our lives. But, try out being less regimented, less stringent. Allow the creativity and spontaneity to exist, without restriction.
Surround yourself with companions
If you’ve had a garden before, you’ll know that some plants do best near other plants. Take for example, the 'three sisters' crops of corn, beans and squash. When planted side by side, these three help each other during growth, resulting in better yields at harvest. This is called companion planting, and promotes a diverse garden more akin to nature.
Mini lesson: Do your best to surround yourself with the things that will make you thrive and feel your best. This could be as simple as starting your day with your favourite coffee mug, or making time to spend with people you can be yourself around.
There are rules, but rules can be broken. The more time you spend with plants, the more time you’ll see they have their own preferences that might not strictly follow what you expect. Perhaps you have a pothos plant and read that they need to be watered weekly, but you find that your pothos is happier when it’s watered much less than that.
Mini lesson: It’s tempting to make assumptions and categorize, but know that every thing and every person is fundamentally unique, often more than we think. Consider where in your life you make assumptions, instead of giving time for that person or thing to reveal itself.
Photo from The Virgin Suicides
Let yourself enjoy
Is there anything more satisfying than biting into a carrot that you grew and plucked out of the soil yourself? Or seeing a flower bud finally turn into a bloom, when you also saw it as a seed? Gardening comes with great rewards, that simply ask for our appreciation.
Mini lesson: Where else can you let yourself enjoy and bask in simple pleasures? Where are you rushing through, that you could instead soak in?