Within a couple of years of moving to Nevada City in 2004, I had cleared the prickly holly bush and a volunteer liquid amber sapling from a bed in my front yard.
Envious of my neighbor’s beautiful front yard vegetable gardens, I made mental notes of what I’d plant in mine.
Tomatoes and eggplant were givens, as were basil, cilantro and rosemary. Oooh, I’d definitely give peppers a go, and to be uber-healthy, how about kale and chard?
With visions of a prolific, colorful leafy garden I went to Peaceful Valley Farm Supply to buy starts.
It was such a small plot, 20 sq. ft. or so, that it seemed like overkill to do what my neighbor had done—which had been to sheet mulch her front yard for the winter. Besides, it was spring and I wanted to get growing!
Fast forward a couple of months. My garden looked Nothing like my neighbor’s verdant bounty. Mine looked, well, barren. The plants were scraggly. Many of the leaves had a yellowish, unhealthy looking tint.
I was watering regularly. I mixed in some fertilizer into the soil now and again. What was the problem??
Honestly, I was a little embarrassed at my lack of know-how. How hard can it be? (Ahhh, I hope you Gardeners have a little compassion for my past-self’s naivete!)
“Fine,” I thought, “time to learn.” I pulled out my gardening books, talked with the patient folks at Peaceful Valley, and researched online subjects such as: composting, natural fertilizers, pest control, and mulch.
Mamma mia, there was So Much To Learn! It was rather overwhelming, so I tried the suggestions that seemed to make sense to me: I dug in some compost around the base of the plants, added mulch, cleared the leaf litter, and upped the watering quantity.
All this helped a bit—but not much. I harvested some tomatoes and a couple of eggplants. The greens, that weren’t aphid infested, never did look all that nourishing.
I felt a bit demoralized by the experience—it certainly turned out nothing like I was expecting.
Walking by my neighbor’s daily, I’d marvel at how effortless she made gardening look.
“It’s all about the soil, Shawn,” she said, “that’s why we sheet mulched. And even with that base, I follow a schedule for fertilizing based on what phase of the growing cycle a plant is in. We also add compost regularly. Once you get the hang of it, it really doesn’t take all that much time.”
Clearly, she has learned how to read what her garden needs. She doesn’t obsess over it, she pays attention and takes action when needed.
Soil healthy and plants thriving, she got to turn her attention to experimenting with heirloom and temperamental varieties. She saved seeds and traded with other gardeners. She was asked to run the gardening program for one of the Charter schools.
In other words, she was in an entirely different stratosphere than I in the world of gardening.
That was several years ago. She has since moved and I’ve since gone location independent. Her front yard garden remains indelibly impressed in my memory and her care and love for her work continue to warm my heart.
How’s the garden of your biz? How might your experience of your work be different if your productivity systems were seamlessly tuned in to your needs?
Is your base strong and solid to yield a most excellent 2015?
If not, please join me for a free, 1-hour teleclass to find out why one-size-fits-all productivity systems aren’t for you on September 25th at 10 a.m. PT.
– You’ll get the four principles of organization that change the game.
– You’ll do a real world practical application of these principles to free up your energy and give you peace of mind.
These are tastes of my 3-month Walk Tall Organization Mastermind which begins on October 8th.
Sign up for the September 25th teleclass: