Our house is way too small for our family but the one thing that keeps us here is our amazing backyard. From the front, our tiny rambler home doesn’t look like anything spectacular, but once you head your way into the backyard you are surprised to see our half acre backyard right in the middle of suburbia. The past few years I’ve really taken an interest in gardening. Interest is the key word.
My husband thinks I don’t have time for this and confession; I’m afraid to eat the produce we grow. I boiled the green beans that grew one time and they tasted horrible and I can’t even describe the texture they were. I have so many weeds that I don’t know how I’ll ever get rid of them and I spent $50 on flowers only to get them home and ruin them as I tried to plant them in the ground. I do not have a green thumb at all….well not yet that is.
But year after year, I will still garden and bring my boys along for the ride. Why you ask?
There is just something about nature that I love. It’s beautiful, self-sustaining, and there are so many life lessons to be learned from it. We learn so much with every step of the process and it really crosses over into real life.
- Following through: When you start with something, you need to finish it. I feel that is a life lesson we all can struggle with. Every year we plant the seeds and then at then end of the season, we clean up and get ready for next year’s spring. We follow the natural pattern of the seasons and are able to stick with nature’s design.
- Patience: A lot of waiting. We usually want instant results but it doesn’t always work out that way. Seeds don’t sprout overnight and flowers don’t bloom the next day. The anticipation can make the end result so much sweeter! I finally got one stinkin’ green pepper in October last year!
- Hard work: Gardening is not as easy task. A lot of sweat, planning, physical labor and tedious tasks will provide you with an end result you are so proud of. My husband knows this and is the reason why he tries to detour me from doing my garden. He is right, I do have many other things I need to focus on but this is my thing.
- Joy in the success: When you see how all your hard work has paid off, yep…you did it! All the work you put into this has provided excellent results and crops! I had an awesome crop of green beans once but then they tasted horrible. I was still proud. It was great to actually measure the quantity of my success in that!
- Learn from mistakes: Nothing is 100% successful. There are times when things don’t work out. You overwatered or used the wrong type of soil. If there is an actual reason why something didn’t work out, you can learn and grow from your experience. One year I bought the wrong type of sunflower seeds. I bought mammoth sunflowers and before a thunderstorm blew them down, they had reached as high as my roof and hadn’t even bloomed yet. This year I planted the mammoth sunflowers against the fence and not in front of my boys’ window.
- Not being afraid to try again: You learned from your mistakes, now let’s try again. Sometimes you just don’t want to try again though, will it all be a waste of time or will it be a failure again? This year I did a little more research and I *think* I got the right type of green beans that will be just like the ones you buy in stores. We’ll plant them, grow them, pick them and boil them. I will try them. If they taste horrible again, I’ll switch and try growing lavender or something else.
All these are life lessons I want to teach my boys. But more importantly, what I want for them to get out of us gardening is to “do what you love” and “family memories will last a lifetime.” So even if I can’t get this gardening thing down right, I will continue to garden with my boys for years to come.