Written by Fran Sorin
Fran blogs at Garden Weasel’s new blog, Groundbreaking Tips (where this article first appeared). She is also the author of Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening.
If you want to be more creative in your garden this year, here are some ways to access the untapped creativity deep inside of you. Once you unleash it, you’ll be surprised at all of the wonderful things that can happen in your garden…and in your life.
1. Observe Nature
It’s as simple as taking a nature walk. What I’m talking about is not just a stroll around the neighborhood or a power walk to burn off calories. A nature walk is taking the time to observe the beauty that surrounds you. Touch the bark of a tree, smell some flowers, feel the texture of a fuzzy leaved plant; take the time to look, I mean really look at everything you can, from a small berry to a pathway in a woodland area.
By taking the time to do this, even 5 or 10 minutes a day, you are beginning to develop a relationship with nature and appreciating what a gift it is. Observing is one of the most important tools in learning to be more creative in the garden.
2. Open yourself to possibilities
The process of designing a garden is all about being open to possibilities — standing before a blank canvas, facing the unfamiliar and opening your mind to seeing what might be. Ask yourself what you would do in your garden if there were no limits on time or money.
3. Play In The Garden
What we really want is the freedom to be playful and spontaneous, to be able to say ‘yes’ when grown-up reasoning dictates that we should say ‘no’ or ‘not now’. This is one of the main reasons I love gardening; I can be free, have fun and play. I feel like a kid, dirty, sweating and without a care in the world, when I’m gardening.
4. Own your unique style.
We all have our own style; it comes through in how we dress, decorate a room, even in how we talk. So many of us are afraid of owning our unique style; afraid of being thought of as having no taste. In order to live authentically, we need to stop concerning ourselves with what others think of us and create purely for our own enjoyment.
I know that I don’t quite fit in with the conventional gardening world; after many years I feel pretty happy about that. I don’t plant according to a strict calendar. I sometimes leave dead seed heads on flowers because I like the way they look up against new blooms. And for sure, my garden isn’t weed free. Who cares? I love my garden; that’s all that matters.
Forget about curb appeal, what the high priestesses of taste dictate or what types of gardens are “in” right now. Your garden can be a wonderful laboratory; it can help to define and express your own style; no less than how you dress or decorate a room.
5. Take risks
A garden is incredibly forgiving; it is one of the easiest ways to learn to take risks. My garden is made up of a lot of risks I’ve taken over the years, some big, some small. One of my first major gardening risks was when I pulled out all of my evergreen bushes and trees lined up in front of my house. As the trees and bushes were being dug up, I thought “Yikes, am I really doing this?” In hindsight, it was one of the best gardening decisions I ever made; it gave me the courage to continue taking more risks in my garden…. and in my life.
What can you do to take a risk? Think of one that you’ve been itching to take in your garden. Don’t say no to it right now; just sit with the possibility of doing it.
Fran blogs at Garden Weasel’s new blog, Groundbreaking Tips. She is also the author of Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening