Garden Musings

Groundhog Day teaches life lessons.


It’s Groundhog Day! These were the words Bill Murray heard every morning at 6 a.m. as he began February 2 over and over again. Only when he recalled the truly important things in life was he released to move forward with a fresh perspective.

While I haven’t lived the same day more than once, I know what it’s like to live life on auto pilot and how easy it is to get off course.

For me, it started out when I became a garden center manager and worked the additional hours it required. I loved it, but while I was working long hours, seasons turned into years and my garden suffered.

That’s an understatement. It became a weed-infested reminder of inattention. Avoidance was my coping mechanism. If I didn’t look at it, it wasn’t that bad, right?

A couple years ago, just as Bill Murray finally awoke to February 3, I roused to a new day. I took control of my life and started reclaiming my garden. It was overwhelming in the beginning. Where would I start in an acre of border bedlam and cultivar chaos?

Weeds, weeds and more weeds!
Weeds, weeds and more weeds!

To make the job manageable, I divided my landscape into individual beds and borders and then just put one garden boot in front of the other. I cleared a space of weeds, pruned overgrown shrubs and removed perennials that had grown too enthusiastically. In smaller gardens, I planted new perennials. I left larger beds unplanted, and mulch was applied heavily to keep weeds at bay while I decide on new designs.

A fun vignette with flea market finds looks much nicer than weeds, don't you agree?
A vignette with flea market finds looks much nicer than weeds, don’t you agree?

Photos were taken along the way to show progress and notes were recorded in a journal. As each small space was completed, the name of the garden and the word, ‘RECLAIMED,’ was posted in the journal. I patted myself on the back and moved on to the next area.

In spring of 2015, circumstances at the garden center required me to work long hours again. It was to be a temporary situation, but it was easy to fall into old patterns. Before I knew it, it was August and again, I had spent little time in the garden.


After giving myself a kick in the pants, I was back on track. A few more beds were reclaimed before snow forced me inside for the winter.

I began speaking to groups again after a hiatus during my auto pilot phase. I started this blog to share my story and  tout the physical and mental health benefits of gardening.

I have a long way to go to reclaim my entire landscape, but it’s the journey right? Just as Bill Murray learned lessons of life while reliving his Groundhog Day, I did too. I hope you have a healthy work/life balance and are getting ready for a new season in the garden. Garden with me!

2 thoughts on “Groundhog Day teaches life lessons.

  1. It is indeed a journey, Diana. I, too, have a garden that I am in the process of reclaiming. Last year’s mosquito infestations certainly didn’t help, but then as the eternal optimistic gardener that I am, this year it is going to be different. Right?

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