A garden is a very good teacher if you take the time to learn the lessons. Of course part of learning is to be open and receptive to what is being taught and willing to accept what you are learning. Over the years I have learned many things from my garden that has helped to make my life more full and richer. These lessons have also brought me a great deal of pleasure. There are not to many things that can bring such pleasure with out a great cost but a garden is one of them.
When I was younger I believed that the quicker you could get something done the better. Once completed you could cross it off your list and move on to the next task. Well my garden taught me that it is not always about finishing a job quickly but how you did the job. Taking shortcuts and cutting corners may seem like a good idea but most of the time you are way better off taking your time and doing things properly. When you are preparing your vegetable plot if you take the time up front to get rid of weeds then latter during the season your maintenance tasks are much easier and a whole lot less time consuming. It may sound like that is not such a big deal but believe me there are lots of other jobs I would rather do on a hot muggy summer day.
Another thing I learned is that do not cheat on materials or supplies. If you are going to do a job do it right the first time. A good example would be a paver patio. Be sure you dig down deep enough to get to some sold ground do not try to get by with a three inch base . Yes it means more work and material to dig out ten or twelve inches for your base. In two or three years your patio will still be level. If you try to cheap your way out of it in two or three years you will be doing constant repairs do to the freeze thaw cycle reeking havoc with your patio. While on the subject be sure to use premium quality adhesives on your seat walls no one wants to sit down and have the wall fall over on them. I have seen this happen many a time spend two dollars more a tube it pays off ten fold.
Remember what you do today will determine what your garden will look like tomorrow. Planting spring bulbs in October is not a very fulfilling task but come April and May you will be rewarded, and the little work you did back in the fall will be a distant memory while you are enjoying the beautiful display in your garden.
Along with these lessons I have learned patience it is not always about instant gratification. Giving you garden time to mature will revel a whole new view of it. A three year old garden is much different than the day it was planted it has matured and grown in. As with life efforts spent may not generate the immediate results you want but keep working on it and give it some time and you will see the fruits of your labor blossom before you.
The most important lesson I have learned from my garden is the most valuable. Take time for your self. Take a break and spend some time for yourself. The garden is the perfect place for this. Sitting on a bench watching nature and immersing your self in the garden world of butterflies and bees. Sitting and watching the birds, squirrels, and other garden creatures go about gathering food and frolicking in the garden can absorb your attention and release stress and tension that you were not even aware of. After about thirty minutes on a garden bench you will feel more relaxed and refreshed than after a whole night sleep.