30 August 2010

May 2010 Newsletter

April showers bring May flowers...

I have a confession to make. I love having a garden. I love being able to pick flowers and arrange them in vases around my house. I love being able to pick herbs and veggies and fruit and cook them up right then and there. I love growing enough food to be able to share with people who are hungry by donating to my local food bank. But I really don't enjoy gardening.

Okay, I like some of it. I like planting seeds in starter pots and watching them grow. I enjoy planting the starts into well-prepared soil. I certainly love the smell of the earth. It's just all that work -- the hoeing and weeding and picking of slugs -- that I find painful and not at all fun.

Where I live, May means lots of work in the garden. The rains have finally let up enough that the clay soil is dry enough to work, but they've also nourished vigorous growth of wild radish, sheep's sorrel, plantain, and thistle. All of which is fine out in the pasture, but is unwanted competition for my cultivated plants (flowers and veggies) in the garden. And so the mowing and weeding and slug picking begins...

But guess what? Basic organizing principles apply to the garden, too! Keep It Simple, Sweetie reminds me to tackle only small areas at a time, rather than try to weed the entire garden in one day. Create (and use) Habits reminds me to weave the watering and slug patrol into my daily chores. Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude helps me to see (and appreciate) the garden I have instead of the work that still faces me. And Ask for Help encourages me to call my gardener, who takes care of the mowing and weed-whacking (and some of the weeding) for me.

Whether you're organizing your garden or your home, the basic principles serve as a helpful guide. If you need a reminder of the principles (and want to see what some other organizers have come up with), read my article "Organizing by the Numbers" on my website. http://www.clairejosefine.com/art.htm#organizing%20by%20the%20numbers And, as always, let me know if I can be of any help.

Happy spring!

Tip of the Month

Get ready for your garden by discarding old seeds, sharpening and cleaning your tools, and recycling broken and excess pots. Then organize: put your hand tools together into a bucket or caddy and hang your larger tools (shovels, rakes, etc.) on the wall of your gardening shed or garage.

This year, I've organized my seeds in order of when I'm planting them, so that the ones due to be planted next are on top of the bundle. You can also organize them by type -- flowers, herbs, veggies -- or alphabetically, or by shade vs. sun. However you think of them and want to access them is how you should organize them.

Quote of the Month

Our life is shorter than flowers
Then shall we mourn?
No, we shall dance
Plant gardens
Dress in colors
And teach our children
To make the world more beautiful
Because our life is shorter than flowers.
— Toltec fragment

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