Garden ShapeUp-Along Step 3: Carrot and Stick

by Daisy


Getting our gardens in shape is its own reward, but it never hurts to have a little extra incentive; a dangling carrot and/or a motivating stick.

Now we’ve got a master list and a plan to carry it out, the next step is to pick out both a carrot (a reward for all this hard work) and a stick (something to spur us from behind).

We all know what motivates us. Choose something that you’ve been wanting for a long time, planning to get or do but never pulled the trigger on yet.

That really nice pair of secateurs you’ve always wanted.

Garden gloves that last more than one season.

Cute piece of yard art.

Or maybe you’re into experiences:

A manicure to undo all the damage caused by your hard work.

A picnic with someone special at the local botanic garden.

Dinner at that new restaurant you’ve been wanting to check out.

Ok. Great. Once you’ve decided on your carrot, let’s figure out the stick.

One thing that always lights a fire under me is inviting company over. How about scheduling a cookout for family, friends, or neighbors right about when you’ve calculated you should be finished with your list?

Maybe you have to make a campaign contribution to your least favorite candidate? Ouch.

Possibly NOT getting your carrot for another year would do the trick.

Pick out your carrot and your stick and share them in the comments. I can’t wait to see what motivates YOU!


Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Bonnie North February 26, 2016 at 7:54 am

Where I live, the local cable network invites local citizens to run their own themed TV shows through the local network affiliate. I have applied to host a show based on green living, particularly gardening organically, gardening for wildlife, using native plants, etc.

If I am accepted to do my show, I will showcase my garden transformation – imagine the stick hitting me square in the butt if I can’t get that together? Of course I will need to have lots of before and after videos. We started two years ago when we got permission from the Ministry of Natural Resources to transplant a Butternut sapling which was squirrel planted next to the foundation of our house.

Here in Ontario, the Butternut is an endangered species, so even if it was going to certainly die if we allowed it to remain in place, we could have faced severe fines for touching it without their approval. Of course we filmed the whole thing, and it has survived in its new home, growing larger since we moved it nearly two years ago. That footage would be a part of our garden transformation series. Anyway, I digress.

My carrot? Renovating our walk-out, unfinished basement to accommodate teaching cooking classes.

Daisy February 26, 2016 at 8:40 am

Bonnie–I’m loving this story. So much. Televised transformation, being held hostage by an endangered butternut. And cooking classes–suhweet! I want to know more! Keep me updated.

Bonnie North February 26, 2016 at 8:53 am

Hi Daisy, LOL!

I promise to keep you in the loop!

Ann February 27, 2016 at 3:28 pm


My carrot is all the lovely vegetables we’ll reap once the garden starts producing. And the savings! And the stick is doing all of this with my 6 y/o daughter and some new friends who don’t garden (yet). This is my first year gardening with my daughter due to an overseas move and then back which threw everything off for a while. But we’re back on track now.

I have a plan drawn up. Time to start shopping for seeds. And then waiting for that last frost date. Woohooo!

Daisy February 28, 2016 at 7:45 am

Ann–Very exciting! Best of luck.

Mattie March 27, 2016 at 1:07 pm

My carrot is finally getting control of the sea oat grass in my side yard and ridding my world of mosquitos. And probably a mani – pedi, it has been 15 years since my last one.

My stick? I’m getting older, slower and in more pain and I’m not going to want to deal with it in my 50’s and there are no little ones to come around and take care of it.

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