The garden can become stressful.
All of your tomatoes turn red at once, and birds dance above you waiting for you to leave so they can peck more holes through those luscious red skins. A whip cracks above your back as you try to bring in all of the ripe zucchini, cucumbers, summer squash and corn your little arms can carry. Weeds and grass pop up from the exact location you just ripped some out. Your body lies motionless amidst rows of what once were your plants but now are Swiss-cheese, yellowing, curling leaves.
It can be rough. And no one would blame you for fearing these fates, or for hiding away from the thick summer heat in your comfortably conditioned home with fans, refrigerators, and couches.
However, there is a trick you can use to make sure you keep getting out to that weedy hell-hole you call a garden: Make Your Garden Enjoyable.
Here are some ideas on how.
1 Have a place to relax.
Bending over pulling weeds for even 15 minutes can be exhausting. Scavenge a bench or an old chair from the house that you aren’t using, stick it in a spot where you can sit near your garden. The chair will also double as a place to set the things you collect from you plants if you don’t have a bench to work from. From your chair you can read, come up with a list of stuff you need to do to your garden, put off getting to the list of stuff you need to do to your garden, find a new appreciation for the beauty of the weed you were just pulling at and wonder if you could just leave it, or you could drink some iced tea.
2 Plant for your viewing / smelling pleasure.
Plant some dog-gone flowers you love. Or whatever plant you love! Just enjoy that plant’s existence from your chair. No need to do anything to it, unless you fancy sticking a few of it’s flowers in a vase and having a fresh cut bouquet inside. But why bother when you can just come see the whole plant?
3 Plant for ease.
Everyone jumps up and down about planting succulents. You wanna know why? Because if you’re forgetful, negligent, or scatterbrained those plants will keep on kicking until you remember that they like water sometimes. And while these plants can be extremely forgiving, they are also absolutely fascinating to grow; with strange shapes and tinted edges, there’s a strange succulent out there for everyone. There’s a point here: if you are a busy person who maybe can’t get outside to water that basil seedling through the driest months, or if you won’t remember to add pine needles for the necessary acid boost to your blueberry bushes each season . . . don’t set yourself up for disappointment.
4 Plant for utility.
Grow some stuff you’ll eat. Plain and simple. Don’t worry about trying a bunch of new stuff or pleasing your whole family with your choices. If you enjoy the thought of picking a few ripe tomatoes from the plant every couple days to enjoy right where you picked ‘em, them get a tomato plant and stick it in the ground. Drink a lot of tea? Plant some chamomile. You will be absolutely amazed at how many flowers each little bushy plant produces and how easy it is to pick them, dry them, and steep them. Like eating? Cook sometimes? Plant some herbs. Bada bing bada boom.
5 Infuse the space with your personality.
Remember that weird little statue you picked up at the thrift store that time that everyone else thought was creepy so you can’t display it in the house? Stick it in the garden. What? It’s scaring off crows (or something). Find things to decorate your garden with that represent your personality and bring you weird pleasure to view. Some people spend a lot of time making DIY decorations for their garden, and they generally look absolutely fantastic. But there’s nothing wrong with a couple dollar store solar lights, thrift store finds, and repurposed wood.
Now get out there and get to work! Or sit in your chair. The garden is yours.