Gardening had never really been on my radar. Until March 2020.
Stuck at home in a rapidly changing world, I needed something to distract me from the unfolding global pandemic. When the world shut down, I pushed existing projects aside (didn’t we all?). As I realized we’d be stuck at home for quite a while, I wanted a new project. One that would provide quality family time, exercise, and beauty on uncertain days.
We had just moved into a smaller new home, and the backyard needed an overhaul. The back porch looked out at a solid, dull brick wall, with which my husband, David, and I were not enchanted. We brainstormed a general plan to make the yard more enjoyable, starting with a small garden bed up against that boring brick wall.
Having never created a flower bed from scratch and without the option to hire a professional, David and I began digging. Him, in the dirt. Me, on the web. Lucky for us, I have been to the end of the internet and back a few times. My super-sleuthing came in handy researching this flower bed and what to put in it, but it didn’t take me long to feel confused and overwhelmed by the volume of conflicting information.
From soil pH to shaded versus full sun to fertilizers to watering amounts, it seemed like advice was plentiful but never clear. Anytime I find myself confused, the first thing I do is try to organize something. In this case, I needed a system to help me organize everything I was learning about gardening. While gardening journals are handy tools, I needed something to help me identify my environmental factors and get to know my plants. I grabbed one of my trusty binders, some tab dividers, and page protectors and started to organize all the information I had found.
Our gardening journey has been educational, but mostly from trial and error. This resulted in multiple trips to the local gardening store. One day we needed more plants, and the next day, I realized we needed plant food or soil amendments (this also resulted in a frustrated husband more than once).
But now that we have several years of gardening under our belt, I can tell you that (at least I) have enjoyed the quiet pleasure of watching things come to life. It’s rough on the hands but good for the soul, and the results are something to be proud of.
Last spring, I taught a Garden Workshop. I loved the opportunity to share my systems and knowledge, and I’m excited to bring it back this spring. When you purchase the workshop (available soon!), you’ll get a digital guidebook packed with information and garden worksheets, links to pre-recorded videos to walk you through how to use all of it, and a ticket to the live Q&A session on Friday, March 3rd at 9 am CST (and Style & Story members, you get all of this for free!).
Gardening may be trial and error, but I hope this system helps you minimize mistakes, consolidate abundant information, and apply it to your garden. I hope you get as much joy from planning your new garden, working in the soil, and seeing those blooms come alive as I have!