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Life Lessons I've Learned From My Garden

Updated on September 8, 2016
Lovely purple flowers in the garden
Lovely purple flowers in the garden

Beauty adds so much to our world, and a good place to find beauty is in the garden. Gardens are special places because here one can find peace and experience joy. Filled with bright colors and wonderful smells, gardens are alive with plants and creatures. Gardens can intrigue us, comfort us, inspire us, and calm us. Here-- in the garden-- I have learned some important life lessons while I've been in the garden, and here's a few of them:

Dormancy does not mean inactivity.

In winter, the bulbs and perennials in the garden are dormant, but that does not mean they are dead. During this time under the ground, a bulb (or root, in the case of a perennial) is storing up nutrients so it can bloom again once spring and summer arrive.

In some ways, people are like perennials and bulbs. They may go through a period in their lives where it appears they are not doing much. Life goes on from day to day in a routine way. Oftentimes, this is the time when people are thinking or planning about the next important steps in their lives. It appears as though they are accomplishing very little. An example is the senior who graduates from high school, and then for a period of a few months, appears to do very little. Actually, the student may be preparing him or herself mentally for the next step, whether that be college or employment. In order to succeed , sometimes people need to prepare themselves for the task; similarly, bulbs and perennials prepare for blooming.


In order for a garden to grow and flowers to bloom, it must be nurtured. This holds true for important aspects of life as well. If we are to raise happy children, we must nurture them by spending time with them, mentoring them, caring for them. Then children grow into responsible, caring adults.

The same holds true for relationships. If we want strong and lasting realtionships with others, we must tend to those relationships through sharing quality time and effective communication. By cultivating positive interaction with others, we encourage development of beautiful, blooming relationships.

Anticipation is part of the joy.

Any gardener will tell you that part of the pleasure in gardening comes from waiting for the flowers (or vegetables) to grow and bloom. Excitement builds as the gardener guesses when the flowers will bloom and how long will they last. When the buds blossom and finally bloom, the gardener feels a sense of true satisfaction and joy because the garden looks so beautiful.

In life, too, looking forward to an event is pleasing! We dream, we plan, we wait, and then it happens. And all the hard work is forgotten because the final product pleases us, and we enjoyed the dreaming and planning, too!

Nurturing can lead to big blooms in our garden and in our lives.
Nurturing can lead to big blooms in our garden and in our lives.

Good things can happen again and again.

In the garden, perennials, flowers that come back year after year without replanting, add a sense of permanence to the landscape. As the years go by, the perennials get bigger and more beautiful, and each year, they make the garden better.

Life can be like a perennial. If we expect good things to happen and provide the environment in which these positive actions can occur, they will. In fact, those positive happenings can get bigger and better. Consider how one good person, like Mother Tereasa for example, cultivated her faith and spread acts of kindness throughout the whole world. The seeds of her spirit have been sown, and today we are still influenced by her.

Tiny seeds bloom into big flowers, if given the chance.

Some of the tiniest seeds grow into the biggest flowers, adding beautiful color to the garden. In a person's life, the tiny seed is like a dream. If nurtured properly with attention, planning, and hard work, a dream can become a reality. We see this over and over again with successful business people, artists, and entertainers. Like a seed, if you nurture a dream, it can blossom into reality

A lily from my garden with big, yellow blooms.
A lily from my garden with big, yellow blooms.

Gardens provide a place to rejuvenate ourselves as we admire the wonders around us. Take a walk through a garden, take time to sit down on a bench, and look around. Let your mind wander and wonder. In a garden you can make discoveries about yourself, and your life will be a bit more pleasant because of the experience.


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    • websclubs profile image


      10 years ago

      Hi Julie A. Johnson,

      The next step!

      ...whether that be College or Employment-- In order to Succeed , sometimes people Need To Prepare Themselves For The Task! In many ways people are some what like perennials or bulbs... They may go through a period in their lives where it appears they are not doing very much! However Life Goes On From Day To Day A Routine-- Oftentimes, this is the time when: People Are Thinking Learning and Planning The Next Important Step of their lives etc. Your hub is intriguing and thought provoking.

      Nice useful hub, Thank you very much.

    • sofs profile image


      10 years ago

      I was just looking through the suggested links for my short story 'In a faraway place the sun sets' and I came across this hub. I love it and I hope the others who read your hub through my story will enjoy it as I did!!

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Pantherart, Thanks. Yes, I wish our growing season could be longer, but the cool nights do bring out the bright colors in flowers. I think I appreciate summer all the more because it is rather short, but our falls our beautiful too. Keep enjoying the gardens! Julie

    • Pantherart profile image


      12 years ago

      Great hub I love flower gardens too bad your growing season is a little short up in MN

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Sandilyn, For me personally, life reflects nature; and the two, as you say, are intertwined. By looking around us we can learn so much. Thank you Sandilyn for your insight. Julie

    • Sandilyn profile image


      12 years ago from Port Orange, FL

      I like your view of life intertwined with nature. I enjoy the outdoors and the thinking and watching how things grow and bloom. Life is the same, as you mentioned.

      So many people do not take the time to reflect upon these things. Much less take the time to stop and smell the flowers. If they did, can you imagine what a better world this may be?

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN


      We all have seasons of dormancy, and sometimes, we need that to become rejuvenated. I'm sure you will bloom again soon. Thanks.


    • Alicia Johnson profile image

      Alicia Johnson 

      12 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thank you for this life lesson, I am in a season of dormancy right now and I needed a reminder that this is a season that will pass and I will bloom again...

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Thanks Tom.

      Flowers, even pictures of flowers, can brighten up anyone's day! take care and keep on writing.


    • Tom Koecke profile image

      Tom Koecke 

      12 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

      Well worth reading, and the pictures are almost as beautiful as the thoughts! Thank you for the inspirations!

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Thanks for your positive response, and I will check out your hubs too. Yes, flowers are lovely things, and I think putting them on your website is a wonderful idea.


    • 2patricias profile image


      12 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Thanks for a thought-provoking Hub. We always feature a flower photograph on the Home page of our own website, as we feel that flowers are the perfect image of beauty. Also, at least one of the Patricias really enjoys working in the garden. I will check out your other Hubs.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Thanks Stephchick,

      I love working in the garden too! There's something almost invigorating about getting your hands dirty, and the flowers are beautiful too. And the weather is finally warming up -- summer's on the way! Keep writing.


    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Marshall 

      12 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I love working in my Garden! Your hub is lovely and inspiring. I can't wait for warmer weather to return to my area of the world. Cheers! Steph

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN


      Gardens, when taken care of properly, do really give one a feeling of satisfaction as well as pleasure. I am glad you can enjoy your garden!


    • Patnet profile image


      12 years ago from San Diego Area

      Few things in life are nicer than gardens. The property I live on has an eclectic garden, everything you can think of mixed together-flowers and fruit. Yes, hard work gets me where I want to be. I don't forget how hard I worked but am naturally pleased with the success.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN


      Thank you so much for the positive comments, and I loook forward to reading your hubs too!


      Metaphors are a great way to convey an ideas, and I'll check out your blogs. Take care and keep gardening!

      Thanks to both of you! Julie

    • marisuewrites profile image


      12 years ago from USA

      How nice!  I love the metaphors...and life lessons are a favorite subject of mine.  I have just built a blog site on gardening...but they are in their infancy...

      If you want to take a look and leave a few remarks I'd be honored.  I will have a lot of text on them later,  right now they're barely up and I just placed a few comments and videos so they wouldn't be blank.  they are  and  (I apologize if you didn't want me to insert the links here.   thanks for your time and I loved this hub!!   Marisue

    • Dorsi profile image

      Dorsi Diaz 

      12 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      Beautiful hub! I too learn and write about my "life lessons" in the garden. I see so many analogies to life through the garden. It is very therapeutic.I look for forward to reading more of your hubs and your view on life. I'm a fan!

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Thanks Ripplemaker!

      Sometimes waiting for something is half the fun!


    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      12 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Great way of putting the lessons we learn in life. I love best the part you wrote, anticipition is a joy and good things can happen again and again... :)

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Cailin and Violet,

      I'm glad you've been inspired. Gardens can truly be great refuges.

      Violet, good luck with developing a garden.

      Andrews, A new house and a chance to start a garden! I'm very happy for you, and I'm sure your daughter will love it.

      Thank you all for such positive comments. I look forward to reading your hubs, and enjoy the lovely gardens around you!


    • andrews profile image


      12 years ago


      I really love the way your so passionate about your garden! We only recently moved house and I'm on a mission myself to get the garden into a personal haven for me, but also a beautiful place for my daughter to play. :-)

      Well done, great article!

    • VioletSun profile image


      12 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      You are yet another writer who has inspired me to create a beautiful garden; I am really not a gardner, but want to learn, as I lived most of my adult life in apts in the city in the East Coast, but now live in a house in a rural town in the West Coast, with plenty of gardening space. Nice hub!

    • Cailin Gallagher profile image

      Cailin Gallagher 

      12 years ago from New England

      Julie, an inspiring hub with true words of wisdom. I love the colorful photos of flowers in bloom. Very thoughtful and life-affirming.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN


      Thanks so much for the complement. I love flowers too; I think they enrich many people's lives. enjoy gardening!


    • GSHampton profile image


      12 years ago from Southern Indiana

      A very well thought-out hub. I "inherited" a love of flowers from my grandmother and have spent many satisfying hours in my flower beds.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN


      Gardens are special places. Yes, they are good for the body, mind, and especially the spirit. Thanks, Dottie.

    • Dottie1 profile image


      12 years ago from MA, USA

      I love my garden too. It's good for the mind, body, and spirit.

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Thanks Hope,

      I apppreciate your kind words. I think it is important to believe good things can happen again and again because we must be hopeful about the future. In the meantime, keep writing and take care.


    • Hope Wilbanks profile image

      Hope Wilbanks 

      12 years ago from Louisiana

      Very insightful Hub! Well done! I especially love your final point: "Good things can happen again and again."

    • Julie A. Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Julie A. Johnson 

      12 years ago from Duluth, MN

      Thanks so much, Rob. I love being in the garden too. I think gardens do offer a form of therapy.

    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 

      12 years ago from Midwest USA

      What a great hub full of real-life issues, metaphorically-speaking. Nice work. The garden is a great place to be: very therapeutical.


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