7 reasons you’re struggling to get started in your garden and how to fix it.
So you want to use mindful gardening as a way to help you improve your mood and wellbeing. But no matter how many times you tell yourself you’re going to do it, you still haven't actually started.
Here’s 7 reasons why and what you can do to fix them.
Not enough hours in the day
Time is such a huge block for many of us, so you are absolutely not alone. I’d like to help you reframe this lack of time belief in two ways.
Firstly, know that you don’t need hours and hours of time to garden. The mindful gardening methods I teach my clients vary between 5 and 60 minutes, and even the 60 minute activities can be broken down into shorter sessions if you are super time poor.
Secondly, where can you claim back some time for you to do something that will boost your wellbeing?
Exercise 1: Take a blank sheet of pen and paper and track your time for an entire day. Write down everything you do, work tasks, kid activities, housework, each time you scroll on instagram, everytime you reach for the kettle to make yet another coffee. I mean EVERYTHING.
Then analyse it. What activities can you cut back on that aren’t serving you (social media scrolling I am looking at you) and how much time do you now have each day to spend in your garden. Pop into my inbox and let me know. I want to help you do this as I know how much better you’re going to feel when you do.
Lack of headspace
Ok so you’ve clawed back a little time for you. But your mind is still so jam packed with all your tasks and responsibilities that you are struggling to focus on what you might like to do in your garden.
Getting started with mindful gardening will actually help with this as it is super effective at helping you to quiet that busy brain of yours.
But in case you are still struggling, try this.
Exercise 2: Make a big list of everything in your head and assess what is vital for you to do, what you could delegate and what could actually not get done and the world wouldn't end.
Not knowing when to plant what
Will the plants you want to grow survive the winter if they are outdoors? When should you plant tulips if you want flowers in spring? Can you really sow seeds in the winter?
All these questions combined with a large sprinkling of self doubt can keep you paralysed.
With gardening there is an element of giving it a go, but I can appreciate you might not want to for fear of wasting money and your precious time.
What if you could have someone in your pocket to ask whilst you create your mindful garden? Someone to help you overcome your self doubt and create the garden of your dreams. Well good news as that's exactly what i’m offering in my How to create a mindful garden coaching. You can see if it’s a fit for you here.
Lack of inspiration
It is hard to be inspired and creative when you are working all hours under the sun, caring for kids or relatives, doing household stuff and trying to have a social life.
The first two exercises in this blog will help you to clear your head and allow some creativity to flow, so now you need inspiration.
Search for local gardens that are open to the public in your area. National trust properties, National Open Garden Scheme, Local flower farms.
Or when you are out and about, slow down and notice your neighbour’s gardens.
Take photos of plants that you like the look of (making sure to get permission in private gardens) and run them through a plant identifying app. I like PlantSnap but they are all much the same.
Once you know what they are you can match them to the borders or areas in your garden.
I also share a plant of the week for inspiration over in my weekly newsletter The Seed which you can sign up for here.
Overwhelmed with choices
Gardening shows on the TV, ogling other people’s gardens on insta and trips to the garden centre can make your inner ‘I want to grow it all gremlin’ rear its unwelcome head. When there is so much choice, it can paralyse you into inaction.
Create a ‘Dream Plants list’ in your notes app on your phone or in your diary
Add each plant that you come across that would suit the conditions you have available in your garden to it.
Categorise each plant from 1 to 5, where 1 is ‘must grow’ and 5 is ‘want but can wait’
When your growing area is prepped and ready to plant you can go to your list, choose your 1’s and depending on your budget decide which you might grow from seed and which you will buy as full plants.
In order that your border has a cohesive look and maximum sensory appeal, it’s advised that you take into account different plant shapes and qualities. This is something we work on in Week 2 of my How to Create a Mindful Garden coaching.
Don’t have a garden
Perhaps you live in a flat or have a small courtyard space. A garden doesn’t have to be rolling fields or even have any lawn space. A garden can be a collection of pots outside your front door, on a balcony or even on a windowsill. Don’t be limited by the space you have available.
Create your version of a garden, water it, watch it grow, tend to it, notice the changes in the plants everyday and throughout each season. What can you learn from it?
Not knowing where to start
There is so much information out there that it can feel pretty full on. You don’t know what you should be doing first or how to actually do it.
To quote Maria Von trap, [SINGS] ‘let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start’.
It can be tempting to head straight to the garden centre, spend a small fortune on fully grown plants, get home and plant them straight into your borders.
And whilst this may work out fine, in my experience there are some crucial steps you need to take first to ensure that you create the right space for you.
So I've created my ‘Start your mindful garden checklist’ which you can get here to help you on your way.