In the beginning, many people diligently read the instructions and carefully follow them as they sow and plant. They try to get the spacing just right, the depth just so, where conditions will be optimal, all according to the directions.
They must think as they garden or they don’t think it is right.
Then one day, they realize they aren’t so tied to the instructions. They sow and plant and never think about reading the directions on the seed packet or the plant tag. They do what feels right, what has worked before, all according to their experience.
They can garden with a sureness and a feeling that they are doing it right.
And when they do this, their minds wander and they think of many other things while they garden.
It’s not always easy to identify when a person goes from following the directions to just doing what they feel is the right thing to do. One day, they just realize they aren’t even looking for instructions.
Is that the moment when most people who garden are willing to call themselves “gardeners”?