Garden ShapeUp-Along: Observations

by Daisy


One thing I’m learning as I do this ShapeUp is the importance of my master list.

When I was writing that list, I deliberately focused on things that would make a big impact from an outsider’s viewpoint. There’s a big temptation, however, to get sidetracked away from the things on the list by other garden jobs NOT on the list.

Those other things may be important, and they need doing, too, but this is one of the reasons my garden upkeep tends to get bogged down: I never get to those big impact things.

I become blind to those things UNTIL—someone comes over. And it’s embarrassing to have a huge pile of trash in one corner.

My blackberry vines have been pruned, the handle on the wheelbarrow is fixed, I moved the blueberry bush. BUT–an entire disassembled swing set is strewn all over the back yard and I’m making hahaha-aren’t-I-bad excuses about it when a friend drops by.

Then they leave, I get over the embarrassment for the time being, and then I go transplant some lemon balm. I have a problem.

I’m a believer in not letting myself be ruled by what others think, but I also believe in making an effort to eliminate eyesores. I’m a believer in keeping things reasonably tidy. Why don’t I do it?

There’s always going to be something to do. My problem is prioritizing and focusing.

What have you learned about what stands between you and a tidy and spring-ready garden?  What helps you the most?

For me, it’s that LIST!

So back to it. Eyes on the list, Daisy! FOCUS!!!

Next, I’m going to show a couple of before and after shots. Are you making progress?


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

nancy March 1, 2016 at 4:22 am

Thank you for this – truly.

I have stared out my window since early October while I drink my coffee every morning at the large corrugated roof scrap that got left on the ground when the roof was added to the chicken run. It is March 1. Just lying there. every day….

And then there is the straw bale twine everywhere, the broken/rotted chair that was supposed to go out to the dump pile in August, the three pair of ‘outdoor’ shoes that were left by the door that got outgrown….but I planted a new blackberry row, put in a new patio (which you can’t see because the chickens have kicked all the woodchips over the top….)

I occasionally make the mad dash to clean up when I know someone is coming over or just sigh when they surprise me….

I wish I could say something helps but I don’t know….I could clean it up but then the others in my house make it look this way again within days. Futility!

Bonnie North March 1, 2016 at 6:44 am

Hi Daisy, I can’t wait to see your befores and afters!

Bonnie North March 1, 2016 at 7:15 am

Nancy, Daisy,

I just want to say in the kindest way possible, that for me, in this case, misery loves company. When I hear your stories, I feel somewhat LESS guilty that my garden would qualify for a photoshoot in “Hideous Gardens and Derelict Lots” magazine.

Daisy March 1, 2016 at 7:36 am

Bonnie–Hahahahah! I would buy that magazine! It would make me feel sooo much better!

Daisy March 1, 2016 at 8:17 am

nancy–Ha! Glad to be of service! You know, it sounds like you have your list right there. I well know the feeling of futility, “others” are fond of undoing my efforts, too, but you’ll still feel much better when the roof and the chair and the shoes have been dealt with. I’m throwing down the gauntlet–come back and give us a report!

Pat Rodowsky March 1, 2016 at 4:53 pm

Lol. You all are such an encouragement for me to try and get my yard in order. Right now, my backyard would qualify for “Hideous Gardens and Derelict Lots” magazine for sure! You’ve encouraged me not to wait for the weekend….I’m going home from work and cleaning up at least part of the mess tonight.

Daisy March 2, 2016 at 8:14 am

Pat Rodowsky–I’m beginning to look forward to my first copy of that fictional magazine. How’s the cleanup going so far? Glad you’re inspired!

Kat March 2, 2016 at 12:21 pm

When I realize I’m avoiding something, I figure out why then tackle that too. My outdoor carpet needs to be pulled, so I haven’t looked outside in months. Truly, I have to address it with my spouse who loves it, while I dislike it immensely. So I need to come up with a plan that takes emotion out, addresses the real issues, and have a discussion about next steps. This is so much harder than ripping and asking for forgiveness, but I don’t do that either. Stuck until I relize the real roadblock inside.

Keep up the good work!!

Daisy March 2, 2016 at 10:50 pm

Kat–Really good thinking. If we don’t figure out what’s going on, we’re just going to keep doing it over and over again. Thanks for the insight.

Sallie March 3, 2016 at 9:00 am

Yes. It is helpful to think about “We are having a party this week…what do I need to do to get ready?” Not that I pay attention. Like when it is pouring down rain.

Daisy March 4, 2016 at 8:44 am

Sallie–Uh huh. It changes the mindset. And once the week of rain is over hopefully we can get back out there and get some more stuff done.

Ann March 5, 2016 at 5:36 am

The space between who I want to be and who I am, oh how I know thee so well.

I’m a list writer. I do love my lists. But even with my list, I often don’t get done what needs to be done. And that makes me sad.

I’m learning about myself to work in small bites, 15 minutes at a time, and to celebrate my successes. I’m coming out of an extended period of darkness and this is no time to be beating myself up. So I focus on what does get done, pay myself on the back, and no looking back. It’s full speed ahead, 15 minutes at a time here.

Find your pace. I think you’re doing great.
Cheers — Ann

Daisy March 6, 2016 at 10:38 pm

Ann–It sounds like you have an awesome plan. Thank you for your encouragement and brava on your continuing successes.

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