Throw out that huge list of summer garden chores and indulge in nature! This is my essential summer garden checklist and perhaps it is your 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.
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“You don’t have to do any of it, you know.”
My husband said this after I bemoaned the number of garden tasks 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 plain 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 wild, garden way), but the truth is, it can all wait and some of it should wait (will I get new 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 so no sense in pretending I’ll conquer it all.
Just do what you want.
The garden will get messy. I will happily loaf off. And indulge in the true essentials—watching it all unfold.
Grow what You love.
For me, this means lots of no-maintenance local (and adapted) plants plus fruit and veg I can’t get fresh from the market.
Laugh at the aphids.
Whether I fret or not, they will hold their annual conference on the cherry tree leaves. Might as well laugh.
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.
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.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛