I’ve noticed that some gardeners get a little stressed in the spring. It’s no wonder. When we put down our seed catalogs and head outside, it seems like we accelerate from standing still to 60 mph in one day.
After all, spring flowers are blooming, and some have already come and gone! Seeds have to be sown, seedlings have to be thinned, beds need to be raked out, ‘winter interest’ needs to be cut down, and already it seems too late to prune apple trees and goodness, the compost bins need to be cleared out and what are all those weeds over there, and there is some hosta that needs to be divided and in the next few weeks it would really be a good idea to dig up those daylilies that are underperforming because by the time they are ready to bloom it is too shady where they are and by the way, when is it going to rain and is that a late frost in the weather forecast?
And the paint is flaking off the purple bench and would it be better to buy mulch one pick-up load at a time or just have them dump a big load of it on the driveway? Oh my, the crabapple tree is really leafing out. If had a hard freeze or frost now like we did in Spring ’07 that would be very, very bad.
Yes, gardening can sometimes be stressful considering that for many of us it is
an all consuming obsession a hobby that is supposed to provide us with a creative outlet, a bit of exercise, and the joy that comes with creating a beautiful space.
Or something like that. (Insert your reason for gardening here)
But when all around us it seems that everything needs to be done right now, it is easy to get overwhelmed and forget half of what we want to do when we do have a gardening WOO (window of opportunity) to get out into the garden and do something.
So we stand there and pick at a few weeds and maybe prune a bit, but don’t feel like we got much done.
The way to get rid of that overwhelming feeling, or at least contain it, is to embrace list making. Then you can focus on just what you are doing in the garden. Everything else will be safe on the lists, so you don’t have to think about them.
Some lists to consider:
Stuff you need to do in the garden but don’t have time to do when you notice it should be done. (Tip: Don’t spend more time putting something on the list than it would take to just do it.)
Seeds you are sowing and when you need to sow them. (Tip: If your list is long enough, use a program like Excel to list the seeds so you can sort them in the order you are going to sow them).
Plants you’d like to get in the future. (Tip: Keep a notebook near your computer so when you read about a plant you’d like to have, you can Google it for more info, and note potential sources. Then if you are ordering from one of those sources, you can check to see if they have any of the plants you want before you close out your order. You can also keep a list like this online. This is especially helpful when you are reading those Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day posts on the 15th of the month.)
Plants you already have. (Tip: If you tend to specialize in a particular type of plant, like roses, hostas, dahlias, or orchids, keeping a list of what you have can be just as important as a list of what you want. This helps avoid coming home from the garden center with a duplicate of a plant you already have growing in your garden that you forgot about).
Blog post ideas (Tip: Write enough about the blog post idea so you can remember what you thought it was going to be about when you do sit down to write it.)
Non-gardening stuff you need to do. (Tip: When you are “in the gardening zone”, you may think of non-gardening stuff you should do. By putting it on a list, you can get it out of your mind and return to gardening thoughts.)
Gardening gifts you’d like to get. (Tip: Your family would appreciate if you didn’t rush out any buy yourself everything you want for the garden. If you keep a list, then when someone asks what you’d like for your birthday or Christmas, you can roll out the big list and let them choose. With a gift list, you are also more likely to get something you really want, not a duplicate of what you have or some funny sign that says “Hoe, Hoe, Hoe, Happy Gardening”.)
Hoes you’d like to get. (Tip: This is an optional list. Even I don’t really have a list of hoes I’d like to have, though I’m always on the lookout for a new hoe that is different than those I’ve already got in my hoe collection).
Embrace list making in the garden for a happier life!