Archives for the Month of September, 2011

How does your garden grow?

Patience is a Virtue

Green Fingers

I’m green to gardening. I took up gardening recently and have been pleasantly surprised by how a spot of rooting around in dirt can refresh the mind and provide a different perspective on things.

My 3Ps of Gardening

“P” is for Patience. How long does it take for a seed to turn into an oak tree? Depending on your perspective, quite a while or not long at all. One thing’s for sure, it takes time. And no matter how much we try to hurry the seed along, Nature will run its course. Assigning ten gardeners won’t make the seed grow faster. In fact, fussing about with the seed could put it in peril. Better then to provide what the seed needs and give it the time and space to grow. That’s what good gardeners do.

“P” is for Practice. There’s lots to learn when it comes to gardening. Depending on your goals, interests and stamina, it’s a lifelong experience. As my father says, “A garden’s for life. And it needs you.” Given this commitment, it’s natural to want to make repetitive tasks, like weeding, as effective and efficient as possible so you have time to “grow” things. This reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 hour rule“, that’s the time it takes to get really good at doing something.

“P” is for Pragmatism. Asking someone to create a garden overnight is like asking someone to swallow the sun. It’s physically impossible. Even if you manage to plant everything, the plants still take time to bed down, breathe and fill their space. It takes time for visitors like the birds and the bees to discover the place. It takes time for a garden to come alive. Gardening is about recognising potential. Through the art of the possible, we move forward, sometimes with great leaps forward and mainly with baby steps. Especially if you grow your own and have only the weekends spare.

Going social with gardening

I’ve spent less than 24 hours toiling in my garden and I can already see it’s going to be a lifelong adventure. Most importantly, it’s helped me look at work from a fresh perspective. It’s given me the idea for what I call “Social Gardening”, the concept of applying the principles and practices of gardening to work. One that is filled with challenge, anticipation, and hope. And, of course, fun. Lots of it. Watch this space!