Friday, December 11, 2009

What Would YOU Suggest?

This Last Year, I spent too much time on projects***

thinking about projects,
beginning projects,
working on uncompleted projects,
finishing projects,
and being frustrated by unfinished projects

and too much time thinking about projects...

Projects in themselves are not a bad thing. But it's all about Balance, isn't it?? Here is my problem:

I didn't take enough time to sit, sip a lemonaid/iced tea/etc., relax, and enjoy my gardens.
I didn't take out my sketch pad, as I'd intended.

I didn't take out my writing tablet, as I'd intended.

I didn't sit outdoors and read a book, as I'd intended

I didn't invite friends over, as I'd intended...

Okay, I think you're getting the picture.
I need your help.

Please offer suggestions on how I can better enjoy the outdoors.
What do you do to take advantage of the plants, flowers and wildlife in the gardens? How do you go about making sure you take the time to relax outdoors?
I would really like to better enjoy a more relaxing Spring, Summer, and Fall next year!

After all, isn't that what it's Really About???

Once I gather your suggestions, I'll look forward to seeing these sights next Spring!
All the photos below were taken May 4, 2009.


Carolyn gail said...

That's what it's all about, Shady. I spend my summer outside in the garden. You must create a place you can sit and just take in all the beauty and joy of the garden. For me it's our covered pergola where we dine at least twice a day in the summer.

Shady Gardener said...

Carolyn Gail, That's exactly what we need to do. Thank you so much for starting this, my very important list!

Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

Right now I can't help you, I could use the same advice! There were couple summer afternoons I sat out on the deck and drank some Ice Tea but that only lasted moments. After my current project I don't see myself doing much more but you never know, I seem to like making more work for myself!

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Don't feel bad Shady, your garden is beautiful (indicating that much time & effort is spent at it), and all of the pictures take time and effort, and I suspect (if you're anything like me), it's a very fun & relaxing way to enjoy your garden, and much appreciated by us! If there are things that you are determined to find more time for you can always try scheduling, it works for me. Beautiful pictures in your post by the way. :) Rebecca

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Once we finally got all the projects done in our yard I tried to just sit down and enjoy the garden. I have a hard time sitting for long though, because I always seem to see something that "needs" to be done.
I wonder if a lot of us gardeners have a hard time just sitting and relaxing?

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

I am afraid I don't know the answer to this either!

I find it very hard to just sit in the garden without something catching my eye and jumping up to 'deal' with it.

And I always have lists of things I want to do and changes I want to make

Randy Emmitt said...


First off i want to thank you for being the first ever person to comment on my blog! Now over 100 posts later your still around and so am I. Seasons Greetings and I wish you were here to enjoy these cookies and chia tea with us.

What you need to do is plan to take a lunch break in the garden everyday your working in it. And after work whenever possible enjoy some tea or a beer from your favorite chair or bench in the garden.

As to projects I'm guilty as well. I tend to multitask and work on 5-6 at a time, most get half way or so. Our problem is the garden is too big and invasive weeds take over in two weeks here if you not out weeding all the time.

Shady Gardener said...

Hello to each of you who've left comments! It looks as though I'm in good company and perhaps I shouldn't be so hard on myself. ;-)
I really appreciate the commiseration and understanding!

Randy, I plan to be doing this for a great long time... hopefully you do, too! I appreciate the idea of taking a lunch break outdoors while I'm working out there. What better way to appreciate what I've been doing than to sit down and look it over while I'm doing my nearly second favorite thing in the world (eating?) ha! ;-)

I'm a multi-tasker, too. It looks like we may all be in the same boat! ha.

rambleonrose said...

I have the same problem, Shady! I hope I can glean some good advice from others here because I don't have any to offer on my own. I'm glad I'm not the only one!

Garden Lily said...

My enjoyment of the garden is the work I put into it - the weeding and care is very therapeutic. I haven't found a way to "rest" or "enjoy" it yet - but I always think that if I had a hammock, I would try.

Gail said...

Shady, Hi! It's rare for us to be able to sit in C&L gardens~~The mosquitoes are horrid. So we have a screened porch. You can't see every weed from there, so I get to breath the sweet air and relax. gail your photos are fantastic

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

The most sitting I did over the summer was in the shade of a tree where I could see the full-sun border filled with Coneflowers. I was mesmerized by watching the bees. They are such fascinating creatures, and they aren't as skittish as birds. I'd even get to watch butterflies if I didn't move too much. So, my tip is to find a spot in the shade, but close to a sunny part of the garden. In the middle of the day put some sort of comfortable chair there, bring along a cold drink and watch the bees.

Nutty Gnome said...

I'm absolutely rubbish at just 'being' in the garden because I always spot something that needs doing - so I go do it! The only exception is at the end of the day we tend to sprawl on the grass and have a small bottle of cold beer ...and after a day of working in the garden I'm usually too tired to do anything other than drink the beer and stagger off for a shower!!!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Thanks for the colorful journey back to spring! I would make a list of priorities (making the list will also help you determine what your priorities are). I would list specific things you want to do, like 1) invite x,y, and z over for mid-summer tea. You can also leave a blank for one unexpected project, so in case you don't like to be reigned in. Gardening keeps me outside and enjoying nature; otherwise I'm not too much of a project person.

MrBrownThumb said...


Your pics are lovely! The thing about garden projects with me is that they never get past the idea stage. Saves me a lot of time.

Shady Gardener said...

Rambleonrose, It looks like we're in good company. Very reassuring... :-)

Garden Lily, Do you know that there's a "hammock of my dreams?" ;-) It's one I saw years ago at Click on Gardening tab, Leisure and Hammocks... then on Mayan Hammock. I love the way it swings. I can just envision myself in one of those!!

Hi Gail! How are you doing?? Do you know that this is the first summer I can remember in a long time when we weren't terribly bothered by bugs outdoors. I certainly understand about mosquitoes, though. It's hard to believe I hadn't had time to post these beauties until now. ha.

MMD, That's exactly what I plan to do next summer. Even if it's only once!! :-)

Liz, I understand completely! You can tell we're in good company, though! ;-) YOU deserve the rest from time-to-time!!

Monica, I do make lists, but I hate making more of them... especially when it involves the time I have for myself. But, I COULD write little post-it-notes on the doorways to remember to "take-5" today. ;-)

Mr.BrownThumb... You and Mr. Shady! ha! (However, I get the ideas and he runs away...) ;-)

Rosemary said...

Shady It is so hard to stop and smell the roses. Projects are always there.. Even retired I find it hard to stop and relax . You reminded us all to take even 5 minutes.. appreciate our hard work.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Shady, but "I've got nothing!" A couple of seasons ago, I actually used my "outdoor office" to write, read and sip iced tea 'neath the shade of my giant umbrella.

Lately, it's been one project after another. It all started with the take-down of Butch the Wonder Linden, installation of five 36-inch window boxes, building a 30" high raised bed, a low retaining wall, a new mini patio, starting up a water feature... well you get the idea.

I sat on the garden bench with Lucy-Maude once, for about five minutes, in September. How about longer days? I'll be watching to see your suggestions in 2010... right now, I'm ready for a nap after seeing how busy I was this season.


Shady Gardener said...

Rosemary, I'm thinking those stolen 5 minutes here and there would be just the ticket!

Deb, I appreciate what you're saying. Some of the projects are major and must be done. Some are major and will be enjoyed and appreciated very much when they're finished, and others... they're the ones of which gardening is made (and for which we can be thankful, for those get us out there in the first place, don't they?) ;-) Good to see you again!

Kathleen said...

I don't do well at relaxing and enjoying/reaping the rewards of the garden either Shady Gardener. I will go back and read all your comments and see if I can learn any tips too!
I am so with you on looking forward to seeing all your spring blooms. They are so welcome aren't they? The hellebore photos are outstanding.

catmint said...

Hi Shady, Very interesting and important question, which clearly lots of people relate to. For me it's about quiet meditative time, I try to be mindful and concentrate on what I am doing. I think I am getting better at it. But it's important to be kind and forgiving to ourselves because it doesn't always work out serenely. cheers, catmint

VW said...

I'm afraid I can't help you here, I'm up to my ears in projects of one kind or another right now. But isn't it nice to know that you'll always have something to do if you ever get bored?!

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Kathleen, I've come to the conclusion (that I think I knew all along, that a great deal of my satisfaction comes in the actual working in the garden itself!) ;-) Thanks for your compliments!

catmint, I believe I've learned a lot of being content with one's situation and working within its parameters from you. You've had some real challenges in the past year or so! :-)

VW, Hi! You are absolutely right! Perhaps that's what I do, also? Don't want to be without something fun to do! Yea!