GARDEN WITH PURPOSE | Gardening Changed my Life!

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Gardening with purpose is different for every person, but the outcome will be the same. It is more about the way it makes you feel than the activity. This is that one thing that you don’t have to be an expert at, you just need to be consistent and connect to what you are doing. No green thumb required, just a love for beauty!

A garden is the space that creates the opportunity to connect with nature without any limit on how small your space is: a space to nurture yourself and others, discovery thought experimenting without fear, observing overnight transformations come to life, feeling a strong connection to nature, understanding of the impact to wildlife and a meaningful opportunity to connect to the gardening community.

garden with purpose
No better moment than when you plant the first seedling baby!

WHY I WRITE ABOUT A GARDEN WITH PURPOSE?

I write about gardening with purpose to encourage those who think that a green-thumb is required to be successful. Gardening is so much more than plants, it is the connection to nature that is born from experimenting.

A couple of decades ago, I discovered gardening, or should I say flowers. Just because I had the space and loved flowers, that was enough to send me into a journey that has lasted most of my adult life. Fast forward, a little over twenty years, I never would have thought that gardening would save my life. I don’t say this lightly, just sharing my truth in hopes that you also find a purpose as meaningful as your heart requires in order to heal.

So many of us have had a hard time starting in 2020′, but for me it threw me into the darkest place. I remember that gardening was always present, but the desire to garden and to make it a place to feel nurtured became overwhelmingly needed on a daily basis.

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I can’t have a garden without Dahlias!

You want to grow these beauties? Check out my post ‘HELP! MY DAHLIAS ARE NOT BLOOMING! / MY FAVORITES!’. I also show you my favorite dahlias to grow and why. READ HERE!

What about today?

Today, design inspired by nature and gardening have transformed my life. I took a chance and decided to learn much more than planting beautiful flowers. It was more about getting in touch with my emotions and being able to share knowledge, but also design a connection between nature and my daily life experiences. I continued my healing journey and each day I look forward to something new. As a self taught gardener, discoveries happened daily.

Am I scared at times of messing up, yes, but I do it anyway. The best things have come from messing up. Sometimes I find other ways to grow seeds, or discover a food to grow, even discover that I don’t need grass, instead I want more home grown food and have learned to connect with the garden community to get help.

Never fear what you haven’t tried, it is the best lesson and the most exciting time in a garden.

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Beans are one of my favorite vines to grow!

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A GARDEN?

A garden has so many purposes that will fulfill that longing to connect. Here are a few:

  • Create a space to nurture yourself and others.
  • Experiment without fear.
  • A space to stop for a moment and admire what has transformed overnight.
  • Connect with nature.
  • Learn about wildlife and what it needs for survival.
  • A space to connect with your emotional self.
  • Provides a reason to reach out to the gardening community.
  • Allows you to get in touch with amazing memories.

Create a Space to Nurture yourself and Others.

Before the garden became my full time job, I was always in a hurry to get in and do what I needed and then move to the next task. I was busy with my career, meetings, traveling for work and doing all I could to fulfill my goals or more like, others goals. But today, the garden space is where I have my family and friends come over and enjoy exploring or just sitting to view the wildlife.

The garden does not begin at the threshold in my home, it begins indoors. The nurturing that influences the garden and nature are part of my daily life’s rituals.

When you are so used to the ‘rat race’, it is so difficult to stop and enjoy the garden. Not anymore, everything that is done in my life, it is done with a purpose. Take the time to get to know yourself, what you need, your gardening space, how it works, how nature uses it and it will give you so much more in return.

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Cozy garden area to chat and have an afternoon drink and snack!

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If you would like to see more of ‘MY FAVORITES’ for the garden or home, TAP HERE!

Experiment Without Fear!

In our jobs, we have to be near perfect, perform and meet that deadline that are so critical to the success of the firm. But you are in your garden now, no need to let fear stop what can be the most amazing outcome.

I have killed many of plants, and my slugs, aphids can attest to that. Other times, I have to study what will help that specific plants and do some damage control. Are we always going to succeed? No, but you can always start again with a lot more knowledge under your belt. You will be even better for the experience you had.

Start an exercise by growing a few seeds! Have you read my post on ‘BEST SEED STARTING STATION DIY | SEED STARTING’. READ HERE!

Admire what has Transformed Overnight.

I am always amazed when I wake up and see what has shown up. Sometimes, I don’t remember planting because it may have taken a couple of seasons to emerge. This is worth the weight in gold! You just don’t forget those moments!

My clematis was one in my garden that we were stunned about! We ripped it out 3 times when building the pond and this year it is incredible! But I will tell you another moment we were shocked! When we discovered our gold fish had babies in the pond! Now we follow their growth! And we think she is pregnant again. Yes, happy garden, happy fish!

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The strongest plant I have ever known. Taught me to never give up!

Become Connected to Nature to Garden with Purpose.

Since spending so much time in the garden, I am so much more curious about nature and what it takes to take care of it. A walk around a park or a hike is very different, I am more present and I feel like a kid, curious. You will develop a sense of anticipation and at the same time, no unrealistic expectations. This will allow you to enjoy the experience so much more!

I remember, when others would tell me that every time I entered a restaurant or any space, I would begin looking to the ceiling and walls. As a Designer, I always would analyze every corner. Now, I analyze the trees, flowers, soil and even the slug I may encounter! You will become so much more sensitive to how everything grows in nature and how to create that same natural evolution in your garden. Even a log you find may inspire your own style for your garden.

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One of my favorite finds that is inspiring my next project.

Learn about Wildlife and Benefits to your Garden.

This has to be the most fun for me! I have never spend so much time watching birds, fish, worms, dragonflies, bees, moths, butterflies and ladybugs. Each has a meaning in the garden and a purpose.

Even in an urban setting with nothing but neighbors that have only grass in their yards, the Oasis you create with purpose, by rebuilding what was taken away, will invite so much wildlife that you will be shocked. You can do this at any scale and the reward is endless.

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We are so lucky that the parents come every year to the same spot to have the babies and they stay in our garden to grow and learn.

A Space to Connect with your Emotions

This is the only space that I have found to allow me to connect with my feelings. Even if you are not doing well that day, getting into the garden slowly will chip away that feeling and awaken the purpose in front of you.

Last year when at the bottom of my mental health, I remember seating at the pond’s edge and began sobbing, feeling as though the journey in my life had no purpose. I don’t remember how long I sat there with my journal and never wrote a word. Instead I found myself playing with the fish that are always curious and want to be fed.

Build a space that is a healing corner, that no matter what is going on in your life, you know it is your ‘safe space’ in the garden. Some things you can add to your garden are:

  1. Cocoon style chair.
  2. A Bench in a cozy corner of the garden.
  3. Stone Ledge to sit and work on your flowers.
  4. Tree Swing for a kid like moment to enjoy.
  5. Hammocks are dreamy!
  6. Ponds will connect you to so much wildlife.
  7. An intimate Small table with Chairs to read, write or eat.
  8. Handmade Garden Bench.
  9. Comfy sofa with a fire pit or fire element.
gardening with purpose
My garden pond babies. Grand babies on the way soon!

To see a walk around my garden spaces, check out my post ‘DREAM GARDEN SUMMER WALKTHROUGH’. READ HERE!

A Garden with a Purpose Provides a Reason to Connect with the Gardening Community.

An incredibly supportive community is available, with knowledge to share, courses or seminars, IG Lives and great fellow gardeners. When we talk about mental health benefits of gardening, we also speak of the connections and relationships that are formed; mentoring, finding people that inspire you to discover.

When we are going through a lot, many times we want to isolate. But the gardening community will extend a helping hand. They helped me and in turn awaken the love I have for the social platforms; gardening and home decor. You get to meet new friends and share more than tips! Seed exchanges, flowers, ideas or creative solutions and so much more.

garden with purposes
My sweet friend Kim from Shiplap and Shells gave me the beautiful and colorful flowers from her amazing garden!

The flowers on the table came from my sweet friend Kim. You need to check out her blog, Shiplap and Shells! I discover so much to inspire me on her beautiful posts! You haven’t seen a greenhouse that sings beauty, like her amazing waterfront greenhouse in the PNW!

Your home is an extension of your garden and love of all in nature. Check out my post ‘5 EASY STEPS TO CREATE A COZY HOME’, to learn how to begin the transformation. READ HERE!

Gardening with Purpose Allows you to Connect with so many Memories!

Gardening impacts so many generations and many times you learn about how the knowledge or a specific plant or love for a plant was passed down.

I remember every person that has impacted my gardening journey and they are with me every minute that I garden.

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The delicate and elegant Ladybugs are always welcomed!

My post ‘STEPS TO CONVERT A YARD INTO A GARDEN’ will provide you on how to think of transforming a yard and making it into your Oasis! READ HERE!

MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION IS NOT ‘GREEN’.

You’ve got this, no green-thumb required! This is so much more than about plants, gardening with purpose is the key to getting the most out of it. Everything will fall into place when you understand the connection between you and the garden. Gardening for mental health is so beneficial.

I am here if you ever have questions and know that healing is a process in which a touch of nature will transform the quality of that journey. For me the journey continues to this day!

Stay Creative my friends.

Your Cocoon Awaits you!

Melba

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11 Comments

  1. Melba, This is such a beautiful post! I not only enjoyed the pictures but your touching words! It is so important to feel like we have a purpose in life and I’m glad you found yours! Take care, Donna

    1. Thank you so much Donna! It really is important and hope many that are afraid to begin, will get inspired.

  2. Oh Melba! I want to run right out the door! This was beautifully written and even more beautifully photographed and recorded!
    Thanks so much for inspiring me (and others I’m sure), reminding us that the journey and discovery is often times more important than the end product. What we learn and experience are the results and rewards. If they come with some beautiful blooms, it’s a bonus!

    1. Thank you so much Diane! I do hope you ran out the door to enjoy the soil and worms! My mother thinks I am a bit crazy because I pet my worms after I find them. The garden is as you say, the most beautiful journey of discovery. Enjoy every second and every flower my sweet friend!

  3. Melba, this post is so beautiful! The photos of the birds and the lady bug stopped me in my tracks they are stunning. I went back and read the post twice, and I loved every word. Your garden, words, videos, and posts are inspirational. Your blog is what encouraged me to grow dahlias this year and to try my hand at peonies from bare root. I am out every day looking for signs of growth and I love it. Thank you for the encouragement, and for creating not only beautiful gardens but such a heartfelt and beautiful post. I am happy that you had your wonderful space to help you in times of trouble, as well as your little gold fish.

    1. Elizabeth, you made my day! I am so happy to hear that you area growing dahlias and even more! The garden is the most inspirational place that I find and I don’t even have to be with the garden, just with plants. I am so happy that you are going through this discovery process and very touched for the kind and encouraging words. I will let you know when I am a grandma again! LOL!

  4. Our garden was our saving grace at the start of Covid. Hubs was not working and finally had the opportunity to really enjoy the garden and relax in it – instead of just tending to it. I finally made him a neck pillow for his chair too :). The garden is an incredibly healing place.

    1. Thank you for sharing! So wonderful that the garden was your healing space,. it is amazing how our views and connection to nature became so much stronger and meaningful at this time. I hope you continue to enjoy every second on it!

  5. Melba, your posts are so beautiful and I love your enthusiasm for gardening. And how it natures you through good times and bad. As someone lacking a green thumb I find your gardening encouragement inspiring especially not being afraid to make mistakes. I’m terrified of messing up and it holds me back in many areas. I have several garden conundrums going on right now … and I know you’d tell me to just get out there and give it my best shot. That’s what I’ll do! xo

    1. Thank you so much Missy! Gardening has been such a beautiful healing journey and I need to share all I can to make gardening a great experience for others.

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