Throw out that huge list of summer garden chores and savor the season! This is my essential summer garden checklist and perhaps yours too? The regular to-do list is full of mundane things like weeding, pruning, moving plants, adding trellises and whatnot, but the stuff that really matters is all right here.
For more inspiration, also see 50 Short, Funny, & Favorite Garden Quotes.
Making the Most of Summer in the Garden
You know I love the garden and have a year-round checklist of garden tasks but summer is different.
“You don’t have to do any of it, you know.”
My husband said this after I bemoaned the number of items on my to-do list and how slowly I’m working through them.
But. But. There’s so much I want to get done!
Besides the regular maintenance, there’s so much more needed to turn this garden into the thriving cottage/kitchen/secret garden of my dreams.
Yet, the harder I push, the more I miss out on.
And I realized—
None of it really matters.
And I mean this in the best way.
We don’t have to grow the food. Or add new flowers or trees. Or feed the birds, argue with the squirrels, or cut the grass.
It will all carry on one way or another with or without us.
And really, when it comes down to it, and I have the time to work outside—
What do I really want to be doing?
- Why move that dirt pile when I can watch bees collect pollen?
- Why pull weeds in the hot sun when I can lay on the porch swing and watch the hummingbirds?
- Why train the grapevine along the trellis when it will fruit no matter what?
- Why clean up the pond? I can’t now—it’s full of new tadpoles!
Yes, it’s nice when things are in order and they look pristine (in a wild garden kind-of way), but the truth is, it can all wait and some of it should wait (tadpoles need time to morph into frogs). And, more accurately, it doesn’t really need me.
I need it.
It’s time to put that formal to-do list to one side and stop pretending I must get stuff done. I never manage much anyways with some many beautiful and interesting things to distract me, so no sense in pretending I’ll conquer it all.
The Essential Summer Garden Checklist
Just do what you want.
The garden will get messy. I will happily live at my own pace. And indulge in the true essentials—watching it all unfold.
Grow what You love.
For me, this means lots of no-maintenance native (and adapted) plants plus fruit and vegetables I can’t get fresh from the market. Equally rewarding to grow and devour.
Laugh at aphids.
Whether I fret or not, they will hold their annual conference on the cherry tree leaves. Might as well laugh. And the more I procrastinate, the more things resolve on their own.
Eat the best berries.
Stop saving them for others. Catch them when they are warm from the sun and perfectly ripe. This perfect moment doesn’t wait. Indulge.
Listen to the birds.
How many songs are there? How many baby wrens will hatch in the new nesting box? These important questions are best contemplated on a cushioned lounge chair with eyes shut. Just listening to the breeze and bird songs.
Play in the dirt.
Enjoy the doing, not the getting done.
Nap in the shade.
This seems to be a recurring theme.
Watch the night stars.
Listen to the peepers. Be there when the first fireflies appear.
In other words, the essentials.
I encourage you to go ahead and create your own unlist.
Love garden quotes? See 37 Favorite Garden Quotes & Expressions.
Does your garden need a name? See the Garden Name Generator here.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
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