Many of us have specific things we do to wrap up the gardening season. For me, this includes pulling up the last of the vegetables, cleaning up perennial beds, topping up my compost, cleaning off my gardening tools and tidying up before the snow falls. There are many other things that are not on my to-do list, but I do them anyway, year after year. They have become a gardening tradition and a source of joy to me.
Some involve friends or family members, like when my friends and I divide our perennials and share them with one another. This has brought me a great deal of happiness over the years, as I’ve been able to look around my garden and feel like I’m surrounded by those friends. I remember exactly who gave me what plant and all the fond memories I have of them—something that has become especially important to me, since some of these friends have passed on or moved away. Having some of their flowers in my garden helps me feel like we are still connected.
Another is when my kids help harvest the vegetables and berries. We work together to freeze and preserve our harvest so we can enjoy them throughout the year. My youngest daughter loves to scatter the seeds from our daisies and delphiniums all over the front garden. In the spring, we walk around looking for each little seedling.
Other gardening traditions are a little more personal and solitary. I love to collect seeds from my favourite perennials and put them in packages. I often give these as a gift to family members and friends. Another thing I love to do in the fall, when the weather is just right, is to sit in my garden and sketch some of my plants. This is so relaxing and satisfying, as it really helps me appreciate all the beauty in my garden.
I hope that as you continue to plant and care for your garden, you will look at the routine things you do in a different light. Walk around and talk to your plants and thank them for growing and for adding beauty and enjoyment to your life. Slow down a little and take the time to enjoy the process of gardening and creating new traditions.
Lauren Himmelreich is a writer, author and gardening enthusiast. She lives in Calgary, Alberta with her husband, many children, and dog Rosy. She enjoys lazy days at the lake, reading great books, writing great books and playing in the dirt. You can find her work at Smashwords.com or follow her on Instagram.