As in any activity that involves both creativity and hard work, there may come a point when a gardener begins to question if the demands of gardening are worth the rewards. When spirits droop and inspiration wilts, here are ten ways to reinvigorate your gardening passion.
1. Make Plans
To many gardeners, there is no better escape from the gardening blues than taking up a ruler and graph paper to draft a new garden plan. There is an abundance of gardening plans available online to inspire or simplify this pleasant task.
Planning is also the best time to consider the specific requirements of your garden. Black & Decker’s “PlantSmart” provides a high-tech method to analyze growing conditions. Stick this gadget into the soil, wait a day, then use your computer’s USB port to upload the results. PlantSmart will display graphs of temperature and sunlight, as well as suggest plants for your garden.
2. Test Some New Tools
A new, high-tech garden tool can reignite interest in the garden. Underground moisture sensors can ensure plants are not overwatered. Ugmo’s “ProHome Soil Sensor” send signals to a sprinkler’s control unit, shortening or skipping watering cycles when soil is sufficiently wet, saving money on water bills.
If mowing the lawn is dampening your gardening soul – or if you just have a passion for robots – consider the “Lawnbott LB3500″ by an Italian company, Zucchetti Centro Sistemi. Setting up the LawnBott involves installing a wire around the perimeter of your lawn. The LawnBott self-propels around the lawn, changing direction whenever it encounters the perimeter wire.
3. Tour Other Gardens
Visiting professionally designed and executed gardens can re-inspire the gardening passion. In addition to visiting your community’s botanical gardens, look for design homes and show houses in your neighborhood. Many garden tours are self-guided.
4. Create Outdoor Rooms
Consider ways to bring the indoors outside. Add a rustic table with benches for an outdoor dining room experience. To anchor the illusion of a created room, place the furniture near fencing or along symmetrical bedding with formal, straight lines.
5. Have a Garden Party
Throwing a party in your garden will not only motivate you to weed, trim and tidy your space, it will help you to look at your garden in fresh ways. Invite fellow gardeners to your party to further inspire you.
6. Add Architectural Interest
Sometimes all a garden needs to become something more than ordinary is a focal point. Adding architectural interest can add cohesion and flow to your garden. Water features such as fountains and ponds can enrich the garden experience. Statues, gazebos and sundials are other ideas.
7. Try Containers
If weeding in flower beds has you down, turn to container gardening for a bit of relief. A cluster of plants in antique pots, placed on a concrete table, will not only add instant interest to your overall garden, it will lift your gardening to waist height for easy maintenance.
8. Go Natural
Consider adding native plants to your garden or creating a garden specifically for native plants. Native plants include plants that occur naturally or have existed in an area for many years. Since indigenous plants have adapted to local environments, they will grow easily with natural rainfall, soil and sunlight. To get started, seek out a native plant society in your community.
9. Go Wild
The challenge of creating a “wilderness” look to your garden can re-spark your interest in gardening. The aim here is give the illusion of wildness. Wildflowers and grasses are obvious choices to achieve this goal but more conventional plants will serve, too. Azaleas, for example, unless rigorously pruned, have a wildness about them, blooming at various times, reaching in multiple directions and layering themselves in waves.
10. Start A New Specialty Garden
Finally, consider implementing a specialty garden. Start a rock garden. Plan a garden based on fragrance, color or on a particular style. Gardeners who take the time to consider the multitude of available options are sure to return to their gardens with fresh enthusiasm.