Creativity is like gardening

by | Aug 15, 2018 | Amanda, Creativity

Hello Creative QB’s,

2 minute read

I love gardening and have a favourite old beaten-up hat I wear; it makes me feel like a gardener. Creative ideas are like gardens and often my best ideas come after a day moseying around the yard, digging in the dirt. Gardens thrive at the hands of a good gardener, as ideas flourish at the hand of a good creative thinker. It takes a keen creative to keep ideas alive and to reap the rewards of good harvest.

The promise of spring is in the air and I’ve been itching to get into our empty front yard since moving back to the Hunter Valley late last year. The house we bought has a couple of trees and a cricket pitch size plot of grass. We choose this house partly for the potential to design a garden from scratch. When we moved in the grass was lovely and green, but with no rain for months, it’s looking pretty sad, however I’m loathed to water the grass, it seems so wasteful to me, especially given we are in such dire drought conditions here in the Hunter Valley.

After much planning and plant searching, last weekend was high time I got my boots on and started digging the beds for the ‘bones’ of the garden, things like the structural hedges, a few mature flowering trees and the hope of rain.

I love gardening and have a favourite old beaten-up hat I wear; it makes me feel like a gardener. When I put on my old hat, I imagine being a parterre caretaker from a beautiful English country garden with herbs, roses, hedges and Downtown Abbey driveways and paths.

In this hat I feel like a gardener. 

Creative ideas are like gardens and often my best ideas come after a day moseying around the yard, digging in the dirt. Gardens thrive at the hands of a good gardener, as ideas flourish at the hand of a good creative thinker. It takes a keen creative to keep ideas alive and to reap the rewards of good harvest.

In our previous house I had a veggie garden for a while. I was so excited after I planted the first seeds to see little green sprouts popping up from the soil. Over time, the garden grew, sprouted leaves and buds, got bigger and then miraculously turned into a display of veggies. From zucchini, to sweet golden corn, cherry tomatoes, super snappy beans, everything came at once. I felt so clever that I became ambitious. I had grand visions, plans and sketches of turning the entire backyard into a sustainable, organic food-producing plot. From paddock to plate. I imagined the satisfaction, the pride on my family’s little faces when I served them super healthy, heart-grown produce.  I realise it was a romantic fantasy on my part, but it’s a good reminder of how we often start with a big creative dream, how it can fade over time, with it our excitement and enthusiasm wains and before long our creativity loses steam and vigour, left dying on the vine.

When I think about the many creative ideas or projects I’ve started, not all of them thrive. There is always a first blush of passionate enthusiasm and inspiration. Beyond that first rush of inspiration there is much to do and it’s at this point we often start to second guess and doubt ourselves. If we listen to other’s opinions and criticisms we may struggle to see how to bring creative ideas to life. In my experience, the veggie patch of ideas quickly starts to look like a lot of hard work, that’s when we need to nurture our ideas past the inspiration point.

If trouble in the veggie patch was a metaphor for creativity it could look something like this…”Have I got this right? Do I have the right science in the compost?  Is it the correct heat to generate compost? Is there too much mulch on the garden or is there not enough mulch? Are my plants baking in the sun? What about the fertiliser, how much do I add? I planted these seeds and nothing is happening! How do I have time to water, turn, mulch and have encouraging chats with the baby greens AND keep the pests at bay”. I think you get the picture.

To bring creative ideas to full harvest, we have to find ways to keep them alive, growing strong and healthy on the vine, while being a patient and consistent gardener. There is a time for preparing, planning, seeding, planting, growth and harvest. There is no magic mixture or quick fix fertiliser. The trick is sticking at it, day after day, watering a little and often, facing up to the adversity and pushing through with grit. Even if we have to pretend to be the English aristocrat gardeners, turn up ready to do the work of the gardener, ready for the heavy lifting, the pulling of weeds.

We also must be prepared to let some ideas die on the vine so others can flourish and grow strong. We need to trust our creative skills and intuition, trust the process, creative or otherwise, and let nature, the universe, spirit, the zone, whatever you want to call it, trust it.

I encourage you to put on the gardening hat, show up as a creative gardener, poke around in the dirt, pull out some weeds, trim the hedges, get your hands dirty, feed, water and love your own patch of dirt, before long that little seed of an idea will be ready for a full and glorious harvest.

Great creative ideas to you!

Amanda ♥

TOP 3 TAKEAWAY’s

• Beyond that first rush of creative inspiration there is much to do and it’s at this point we all too often start to second guess and doubt ourselves, that’s when we need to nurture our ideas past the inspiration point.

• There is no magic mixture or quick fix fertiliser. The trick is sticking at it, day after day, watering a little and often, facing up to the adversity and pushing through with grit.

• We also must be prepared to let some ideas die on the vine so others can flourish and grow strong.


Other blogs by Amanda


To bring creative ideas to full harvest, we have to find ways to keep them alive, growing strong and healthy on the vine, while being a patient and consistent gardener. There is a time for preparing, planning, seeding, planting, growth and harvest.

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