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Mastering the Art of Gardening in 365 Days

white petaled flowers

Italo Svevo once said, change is unsettling “just as liquid in a jar turns cloudy when you shake it.”

Starting a garden is scary. Especially if you think that you may be suffering from the nefarious, albeit self-diagnosed, condition “black thumb”. But, it is often the things that make our hearts pound with fear (when we think about doing them) that are ultimately the most rewarding. I started this blog to chronicle lessons from the Le Pommier flower farm and hope that our open kimono format will help others realize their own gardening goals.

I took up gardening several years ago when my son became ill as a way to refocus my attention away from the things that were outside of my control and that were overwhelming me at the time. (I also went back to graduate school to finally get that MBA and took the Illinois Master Gardener’s Training course. I would have done anything to keep myself busy and escape my troubles). But, in doing so, I was able to find nuggets of peace in unexpected ways and have made so many amazing connections with people who share my passion for growing and/or are dealing with loss or the challenges of caring for a loved one as well.

Whatever your motivation, if you are reading this post, it is likely that you share a passion for gardening and are looking for some tools and/or information to help you along your journey. Join us as we endeavor to unlock the mystery around gardening and to master its art form in just 365 days. We will document our journey here and provide information about different plant varieties and cultivars to help get the juices flowing.

As a starting point, during January we will focus on building out the Garden Roadmap and documenting the major considerations for successful growing. Provided below is short checklist of items to consider when planning your garden. We hope you find this information useful.

Getting Started – The Garden Plan Checklist

  1. Set your intention: What are you passionate about? e.g., think about whether you can get excited about growing vegetables and/or herbs, and if flowers excite you.
  2. How big of a space do you have to dedicate to this project? If you are new to gardening, you may want to start with a 4 X 6 foot plot or smaller. Garden pots on a porch or balcony work too. (All consider that some towns have community gardens where individuals can rent small garden plots).
  3. Where is the space located? Front or back yard. Be specific.
  4. Is your location sunny or shady. If sunny, how many hours of sunlight does your location get daily?
  5. What gardening tools do you currently have? e.g., garden gloves, hand spade, pots, etc.
  6. How will you water your garden? e.g., hose, sprinkler, manually?
  7. How many hours per week will you commit to this project? (Can you dedicate 30 – 60 minutes per day)?
  8. What is your USDA plant hardiness zone? (This will determine which plants can be successfully grown in your area). See

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