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Gardening Patience

When starting a new garden one must remember to have patience, lots and lots of patience. After more than 15 years of gardening I should know better than to expect a miraculous transformation with two flats of plants. But, that is how we keep going in the garden.


In our mind we see limitless possibilities in the garden. We see how some color, form and texture will transform an otherwise lackluster space into a garden oasis. We conveniently forget how tough it will be to dig in the hard, clay-rich soil. We forget how we will spend as much time trimming, weeding and editing the garden as we will actually spend adding new plants. Perhaps this is for the best.


I added three flats to the courtyard garden this past week. My plan is to start with a lot of annuals for an instant punch of color. The largest area of the courtyard space will be a shade perennial garden. I know from experience that it will be at least three years before that area really shines. As I tucked in the last of the wax begonias I tried to envision the garden as it will be in a few years. It was not easy. But as it always seems to happen, when I am feeling anxious to see a new garden looking perfect, someone will walk up to the garden and say it looks beautiful.

This may be my favorite part about gardening in public spaces; the people. The lady walking her dog was’t worried about how the garden will look a few weeks from now, she simply saw a lovely space, as it is today. My lesson learned: keep looking ahead, planning and designing, but remember to take time to enjoy what my garden spaces have to offer today, in this moment.