How to Start a Garden: Part 1

SAP_1200_DSC_5954If you have the desire to grow your own food or flowers, but you’re overwhelmed and confused about how to get started, then this is for you!

I have broken down how to start a garden into 5 easy steps that you can take action on right away.
Just as much as gardening is a physical activity, it is also a mental activity. Before you break ground in your yard or plant seeds, you have to organize your thoughts, desires and goals so you can have a clear vision of what you want out of your garden.

Over the next week you are going to identify what you want out of your garden, then you’ll create a story of your dream garden. Finally, you’ll begin creating your dream garden using some really fun and simple tools that I will reveal to you.

What do you want out of your garden?

SAP_1200_DSC_5222In order to make sure you obtain maximum satisfaction from your garden you need to identify what you hope to gain. Some people want beauty, others desire the freshest food possible, while others garden for security in the case of a disaster. No matter what your reasons are for gardening, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you identify the main things you hope to get out of your garden. These desires will become the guiding stars as you embark on your gardening journey. Along the way you will be able to ask yourself whether your actions are pointing you in the right direction. If they are, great! If they aren’t, no big deal, you’ll just have to adjust what you’re doing so you can get back on course.

Action Step 1: Grab some paper, use your garden journal or make a new document on your computer and write down your answers to this question:

  1. What are the reasons you want to grow a garden? To have an abundance of fresh flowers you can pick? For the freshest food possible? To beautify your home? Stress relief? Write down as many reasons as you have for gardening.

Put your countless hours spent on Pinterest to work!

SAP_1200_IMG_8250Once you’ve gotten a clear idea of what you want out of your garden, we’re going to put all those hours you’ve spent browsing magazines and collecting gorgeous garden pictures on Pinterest to use! I bet you always knew in the back of your mind that it really WAS important for you to be Pinteresting and not whatever else you were supposed to be doing, right?

Action Step 2: Now go to your Pinterest boards or your favorite source for garden images, and create a new board or pile of magazine images where ONLY YOUR FAVORITE gardens or garden ideas will go. It’s very important that you ask yourself, “Do I love it?” and, “Does this relate to what I want to experience in my own garden?” If the answer is no, then the picture doesn’t belong.

When you’ve gathered your favorite images and put your desires and goals on paper, take a look at what you’ve collected and see if there are any themes or repeating desires that pop out to you. Write a sentence to describe and identify each of the themes that you’ve found. These will be the biggest guiding stars as you grow your own paradise.

Tell the story of your garden success

A bouquet of zinnia, celosia, and kale at the Asheville, North CNow you’re going to put these inspirations together and write your own garden story. This is the story of your dream garden, where you are harvesting fresh herbs every day or throwing amazing garden parties under a full moon. You are going to write about your garden as if it already exists and you are getting everything you wanted out of it. This is where you dream big, make it yours, and REALLY FEEL how it feels to be in your garden.

Action Step 3: Write your garden story about how it feels as if you’ve already achieved your garden goals. If you need some inspiration getting started writing your garden story, use these statements and questions:

  • “I am standing in my garden, and in front of me I see….”
  • “When I am in my garden I feel…”
  • “Who is with me in my garden?”
  • “I am so happy that I finally have so much (food, beauty, flowers) to (eat, pick, share).”

If you ever feel confused or lost in your garden journey, return to your stories, goals and inspiring pictures. They will get you motivated and back on track, I promise.

At this point you will have a great mental map to forever guide you in your gardening. With this last step we will tie it all together for maximum effectiveness.

Become an Olympic gardener

Have you ever heard about Olympic athletes using visualization to obtain peak performance? We are going to do the same thing in your garden, and it is going to make all the difference in the world.

Visualization is really really fun because you actually start to feel like you’ve already achieved your goals. This feeling is so inspiring that it will force any lazy bones in your body to get up and get going to make that dream come true.

It’s more than just seeing mental pictures, it’s taking what you’ve done with writing your garden story, and really feeling what it feels like to have already achieved your garden goals.

Action Step 4: Block out 5 or 10 minutes every day, like when you wake up or before you go to sleep, to let yourself relax and visualize your garden. Then close your eyes and let yourself dream up images and feelings about how awesome it is to have your dream garden. If this seems too hard, then simply get your garden story out and read it. While you’re reading it, REALLY FEEL how amazing it is to be in this great garden space that you’ve created.

I challenge you to make time to do this every day for 40 days. If you feel like your story has changed at any time, simply rewrite it and use the new story instead. This is something to have fun with, and I promise that doing it will make you feel uplifted, inspired and motivated. I do it, and I would be doing the world a disservice to not share these powerful tools!

Review: Action Steps

As a recap, here is what you will be doing this week:
  1. Write down your goals and everything you desire to gain from growing plants and gardening.
  2. Compile your MOST favorite garden images into a place where you can easily browse through them and get inspired. Identify any themes that pop up.
  3. Write your garden story as if you’ve already achieved all your garden goals.
  4. Read your garden story EVERY DAY and really feel how it feels to be there in your dream garden.

Click here for Step 2 in the series!

Thank you for reading, and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to know what your gardening goals and desires are, so please tell me in the comments!

4EasyWays-coverforpopupI’ve also created a free guide about how to get free plants to jumpstart your garden. You can get it here.