blue shovel in dirt

Failure: Redefining Risk-Taking in the Garden

What is failure

This is one of those words that is used in so many contexts. A triumph for one person may be a colossal disappointment for another. This means that everyone gets to define failure in their own words! For us, it means that we don’t attempt something we’ve never done before; letting fear of the unknown keep us in a place of reluctance. Look at it in a new way by asking, “How can it be a failure if we learned something from it?” Bring in that self-compassion as you make the leap outside of your comfort zone. 

happy parents supporting baby making first steps

When a child is learning to walk, the desire to move and explore often trumps fears of “failing” (whatever that means). They’re on the precipice of getting acquainted with their surroundings. If they really want it, they have to learn how to get around more efficiently and reach out farther for interesting objects. Sitting up, standing, wobbling, taking their first step and then the second…before we know it, the child is running faster than we can. They let that thirst for adventure drive them to take risks and taste new things. Sure, they may get hurt or need to cry for a moment, but they are capable of healing and getting back on their feet. The opportunities will just keep flowing our way, and we need to say YES! 

The number one worry we hear from our clients is hesitation to try gardening themselves. If you are just beginning your gardening journey, you may perceive it as a daunting task. Questions like, “what if I accidentally kill this plant?” and “what if I end up setting my whole garden on fire?” can swirl in our minds as we stare down the latest gardening display at the market. These plants are calling to you for a reason. You are meant to be together. They need just a little help from you to grow and flourish, and they will thank you with devastatingly beautiful blooms and endless nutrition. 

hands putting tag on potted tomato plant

Take a risk! Jump on in and try it. Consider yourself a scientist as you log hours getting your hands dirty in the sun-kissed soil. Start small; try an herb garden. They’re inexpensive, easy to grow, amazing for your health, and can be planted next to other plants, protecting them from fungi and other pests! Entering into a relationship with these curious, leafy creatures is one of the most fulfilling things a human can do. We are thankful when they survive, and we mourn when they die; but isn’t death a part of life? How can we embrace this circle and appreciate the journey? Failing at gardening only happens when we don’t give it a shot. We may need to try (what a magic word!) several times before our confidence grows. 

yellow rose

If you already feel like a seasoned grower, challenge yourself to grow something in a completely new way. You can try growing vegetables alongside your flowers; grow grains in a pot with some flowers; plant a banana tree in a zone that it wouldn’t normally flourish in (while comparing notes with the Facebook group, Zone Pushers); see if you can find a natural fertilizer that makes your roses have the biggest blooms. If you fail, it’s ok! Try it again. See how much bigger your heart grows as you become more willing to invest time, research, effort, and part of yourself in the process of growing things! Connect with the earth; join the intricate dance of a harmonious ecosystem. 

Purple salvia

You may have noticed that some of our latest blog posts are geared towards beginner gardeners. If you missed it, check out our two-part series on Plant Parenting. Lean on our support as you dip your toe into the ocean of possibilities.

What is the worst that could happen?

Until next thyme, 
My Thyme Gardens

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