You may start by wondering about the title and about the connection between the two apparently completely separate worlds – what has an important corporate manager have to do with gardening? Well, the following article is going to explain this strange idea. In our ever changing world and at the very fast pace we are living and working, a new tendency has arisen especially amongst those who have the harsh experience of working in a large corporate environment. After 5 days each week of continuous rush, after never-ending conferences with colleagues from other countries on different time zones, after piles of reports and difficult decisions taken each day, decisions which impact the life of thousands, managers has discovered the simple and calm life in the countryside.
More and more of them start buying simple peasant houses with gardens, start growing their own vegetables, planting their own trees and exchange their laptops and smart phones for garden tools. They start rediscovering the connection with nature and are surprised to see how relaxing a full day of work in the garden can be.
They notice somehow surprised that the competencies they have developed for their work (time management, decision making, organizing and prioritizing skills, even IT skills) apply in the garden too. It may seem strange, but I dare to speak from own experience. As Human Resources manager I have bought and designed my own garden with the help of my laptop and all the skills mentioned above.
So, first of all you need to buy yourself a piece of land to transform into your dream garden. It can be a small one below your balcony or a large countryside one next to your farm house. Then you need to decide what kind of garden you want: leisure garden, practical vegetable garden or both.
Then, depending on your choice above you need to go to the drawing board. Grab your laptop, open a spreadsheet (it’s the best because each cell can represent a measuring unit) and start your work. First of all start measuring the outside lengths – then create in your spreadsheet the real look of your garden as seen from above. Try to keep the scales – use one cell for 1 meter or 1 feet or the scale of your choice. What’s important is to use the same scale everywhere. Insert first the outside borders, no matter the shape, square, rectangle, triangle, broken freeform, it’s your choice. Then notice what you already have in your garden and put them in the spreadsheet too: house, porch, alleys, trees that you plan to keep, vineyard, anything that you intend to keep. Measure carefully their positioning according to the outer borders and remember to keep the scale.
Now that you have the current status inserted, start thinking about what else you want in the garden and how much space you would like to offer them: you want 10 more apricots, you want a pond, you want 2 more climbing roses, you need to build a parking space for one more car, you would like some lavender, you love tomatoes and want half of your garden to be filled with them, you want a tree house, you want a house for your dog, a playground for your children, tall hedge to protect you from unwanted visitors and many more. Put all these elements on a list in the same spreadsheet or a separate spreadsheet and start placing them in your garden.
Mark each element on our list after you have placed them in your spreadsheet in order not to forget any of them and always remember to watch the scale. While doing this also consider the following:
- Keep as much grass as you can – all in all you are running away from the city, not transforming your garden into yet another cement and tar place;
- Inform yourself about the plant types you want and their needs. Some are in bloom yearly with no effort, some need replacement each year, some need trimming, some need shade, some need the presence of similar one close by (for example there are types of apricots that won’t give you any fruit unless they have a complementary one within a certain range close by to spread their pollen), some need sun and plenty of light only, some need protection from the frost.
This may seem complicated but remember you’re doing this to relax and forget about corporate issues. Trust me – only looking at catalogs with plants to buy for your garden will relax you more than you think. Just imagine you have all these plants in your garden, all planted by yourself, how much joy and satisfaction they can give you.
Other things that can help: remember there are companies selling plants online. They can always help pick the ones you want and most of the times they deliver the products when it’s the best time to plant them – so this is always a great help to remember when to plant something. To be organized you can insert in your spreadsheet the best planting time and order the list accordingly – this always helps.
Also, there’s always a professional you can pay to do all this work for you, but when you do this remember you are missing all the fun. The real satisfaction comes from things that you did by yourself. Watching plants grow after you have planted them is much more fun than having a full service garden packed and delivered to you by someone else. You will relax more while working in the garden than just by sitting and looking at someone else’s work. A tomato grown by yourself tastes much better than a similar one given to you by a professional gardener – even if it’s your own garden.
All these being said, I invite you to just consider this idea for now before making any decisions – talk to the people who have a garden and take care of it by themselves, read blogs and see how happy work in your own garden makes you. And this position will suit you too for sure, no matter your current corporate job and competencies.