Seven Habits of a Highly Successful Gardener
We hold the mirror up to ourselves as gardeners and discover how to reinforce our best habits (such as “Grow the Plants you Love”) and adopt some new ones (such as “Be Water Wise.”)
With apologies to Stephan R. Covey who coined the “Seven Habits” concept, this lighthearted and inspiring lecture appeals to beginners and advanced gardeners alike.
I originally developed this lecture with Mary Robson, my coauthor of Washington & Oregon Gardener’s Guide.
1. HONE YOUR POWERS OF OBSERVATION ~ Invest time in knowing your garden’s microclimate, from light patterns to protected or exposed spots. Watch your plants for clues to what type of care they need.
2. CHOOSE PLANTS YOU LOVE ~ with thousands of plants to choose from, you’re more likely to enjoy success as a gardener if you enjoy the plants you’re growing.
3. DO YOUR PLANT HOMEWORK ~ Find useful resources (like the Washington & Oregon Gardeners’ Guide), tour gardens, visit nurseries AND learn about your own backyard and what each plant needs to thrive there.
4. KNOW YOUR SOIL ~ when you understand what conditions crate healthy soil, you have the key to success. A high “Soil I-Q” will help you and your plants survive the Northwest’s soggy winters.
5. BE WATER WISE ~ when you understand how to cope with summer drought, your plants will survive the Northwest’s dry summers.
6. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY MOMENT ~ don’t let gardening tasks overwhelm you. If you see a weed – pull a weed; if your roses need deadheading – take care of it. Garden in short chunks of time and you’ll have a well-maintained garden that’s easy to enjoy.
7. CELEBRATE AND SHARE YOUR SUCCESSES ~ Enjoy your garden during every season. Share plants and ideas with other gardeners along the way.