17 February 2015

10 tips for the busy gardener - all it takes is 30 minutes

International garden writer and photographer Fran Sorin shares these tips for busy gardeners.  Her website http://www.gardeninggonewild.com/ is an interesting read.

  1. Set your intent before you go into the garden. Your attitude has everything to do with how much you’ll benefit from gardening in small chunks of time. If you think of it as a time when you can relax, imagine, be playful, and leave your every day thoughts behind, it will have a positive impact on the outcome.
  1. Turn off all phones and technology and allow for no interruptions. This is your quiet, sacred time. If you were meditating or taking a yoga class, you wouldn’t allow your kids, spouse, or friends interrupt you. Don’t allow it in the garden either. If need be, set a timer to let you know when your time is up.
  1. Only bring the tools in the garden that you’ll need. Keeping it simple and minimalistic is part of this practice.
  1. Do not multitask. Rather, select one area to work on. Don’t let your mind play tricks on you and tell you that you can do a little weeding, planting, and pruning—and somehow you’ll get it all done. Trust me, you’ll walk away feeling frustrated and disheartened if you try to get too many things done in such a short period of time.
  1. Once in the garden, stand erect, stretch, take 3 deep breaths in and out.
  1. Pause for a moment to awaken your senses: Look around you, touch some leaves or bark, listen to the sounds. Believe it or not, a moment of pausing to awaken your senses ‘with intent’ will open your heart, help stop the inner chatter, and get you into a more grounded place.
  1. Whatever task you select to do in the garden, do it with a playful attitude. Remember, it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. Weeding can be a great deal of fun when you’re on all fours and you allow yourself to feel the roots being uprooted as they come out of the soil.
  1. Practice mindful gardeningIf you find your mind wandering and thinking about the ‘things you need to do’, pull it back and simply focus on what you’re doing,  just like you would in meditation when you focus on your breath. For example, if you’re pulling weeds and are thinking of the errands you need to do before going to work, gently return your mind to the weeding and say something like, “I’m weeding and enjoying every minute of doing this: I know it’s helping to maintain a thriving, beautiful garden.”
  1. Be aware of your body and practice feeling connected to it while gardening. Feel your hands in the dirt, your knees on the grass, etc. Use the time, if you want, to bend, stretch, and even do yoga poses. When I’m weeding on all fours, I often go into a ‘downward dog’ yoga pose for a few minutes to stretch my body and help prevent back pain.
  1. When the timer goes off, take a moment to experience and acknowledge feelings of gratefulness for having the opportunity to connect with nature in such a profound way.