A little bit like the man in the Colourbond ad on TV, I often find myself wandering around my garden admiring my handy work. Spending time in the garden has always been a hobby but of recent times, I am really getting into it. Once a day I wander around my garden to see what weeds have popped up, new buds that are starting to grow, new shoots on the branches or at the right time of the year, a few flowers. As a result of Covid, I’ve been spending more time in the garden than ever before, and I love it. It’s great because there is always something to do and it’s never finished or complete.
When it comes to crafting, manicuring and sculpting the perfect garden, I always start with a vision or a design phase. When visualising the grand plan, I always involve the site foreman within our family, my wife Hayley. Our ideas complement each other, and I know an extra set of hands will be welcomed at some point.
Once I know what we are creating, I jump straight in and get my hands dirty. My process is always simple and starts with preparing the soil, planting out, fertilising and then mulching. If you are into gardening, you will know there is a lot more to it than four simple steps.
As rewarding as the design and creation phase can be, I know the most important work is still ahead of me. As the Winter months are upon us, I have spent my weekends pruning, picking, prodding, precuring and planting. Right now, my garden is bare and it doesn’t look great but I know it’s about preparation. Focussing on the little things that often go unnoticed over the next few weeks will ensure I have set the foundations for the upcoming Spring.
As I worked away last weekend, I couldn’t help but realise how much my garden was like a classroom.
When we start our year, we need a vision for a great classroom climate. We then spend the first half of the year shaping and creating the right environment and routines. Like some plants complement each other, it’s the same with our students. We provide opportunities so everyone can grow together.
As we now move into Semester 2, it’s the perfect time to prepare for your kids to blossom later in the year. For your class, it may be putting some extra fertiliser or supports in place for the students who need it, trimming back the branches of our more dominant students so everyone is encouraged to grow, or planting a new seedling or idea that will help the rest of the garden or class flourish.
The more effort we put into the little things at this time of the year, the greater the pleasure and rewards will be later in the year.
Like I know what works in my garden, you know what works in your classroom. It might not give you the instant reward we often crave but as the Indian proverb goes ‘all the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today’.
So, how does your garden grow?