Today, I’m joining the propagator’s gang of garden bloggers sharing six things on Saturday, and explaining how I learned that gardeners can’t really grow things.
Let’s start with the six.
- Begonias: a reliable, cheap and cheerful flower, they really brighten up the view.
- Roses: I’ve neglected them, frankly, and yet they still produce these great beauties.
3. Rain: I’m appreciating the recent rain, as the garden still seems thirsty and the water butts need to be replenished, and it’s good to see the green, green grass at home. And I’m thankful that I’d done plenty of pruning and composting yesterday before the rain really came down.
4. Rainy afternoons are great for browsing books and planning. So I tidied up my garden bookshelf, which now contains seeds to be sown, gardening books, notebooks and books on productivity & planning.
While browsing my notes, I spotted a quote from US General Stanley McChrystal, ….who proposes leading teams ‘like gardener.’
From his book ‘Team of Teams,’ as quoted at planning blog the agileist https://theagileist.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/team-of-teams/
“I began to view effective leadership in the new environment as more akin to gardening than chess. The move-by-move control that seemed natural to military operations proved less effective than nurturing the organization—its structure, processes, and culture—to enable the subordinate components to function with “smart autonomy”.…
Within our Task Force, as in a garden, the outcome was less dependent on the initial planting (i.e. planning) than on consistent maintenance. Watering, weeding, and protecting plants from rabbits and disease are essential for success.
The gardener cannot actually “grow” tomatoes, squash, or beans—she can only foster an environment in which the plants do so.
This really struck me. Previously I’d read this as a point about about leading teams effectively by developing the right conditions for growth, and providing direction and support, which I try to do at work, but re-reading this reminded me that gardener’s don’t really grow things.
Today I had pruned and composted, pulled several miles of bindweed from the roses, and watered the tomatoes, but I haven’t ‘grown’ anything. Because gardeners cannot actually ‘grow’ tomatoes.
We’re not capable of germination, photosynthesis, flowering or producing tasty seedheads. All we can do as gardeners is provide the best chance we can for the plants to do their thing, and hope that they do it well.
6. Tomatoes : I didn’t grow these, but I’m very glad that I put the seeds in a pot of earth, sheltered them under glass, gave them water and access to sunlight, supported the shoots as they emerged, and ate these tasty fruits once they’d ripened.
So, although gardeners cannot actually ‘grow’ tomatoes, we can certainly enjoy them.
For many more enjoyable garden things on Saturday, head over to the Propagator’s blog to see who’s joined the jolly green meme to share six on saturday.
And as always, I hope your plans and plants are coming along nicely.