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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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