Gardening Insights From Edwards Greenhouse

Gardening Grows Ideas

Edwards lends itself to the creative process. When you visit the grocery store, you don’t see all of the many varieties of tomatoes, herbs, or flowers that are what make Edwards special and inspiring. Visiting Edwards and choosing from its offerings is a creative act in itself, especially if gardening planning is involved. What are other ways gardening grows ideas? A Psychology Today article found at, http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201304/the-enemies-invention talks about how creative work comes from reframing ideas:

If you want to change the way you approach a creative problem, then you need to change what you are thinking about. You need to describe the situation in a new way. That will change what you pull from your memory and the knowledge you use to solve the problem. Many times while I’m gardening, the problems/ideas on my mind will melt away from the rigid structure I had, and my subconscious will blossom a new approach.Having routines can be very effective for gardening and for creative work. Many gardening tasks are basic and while one gardens with routines, one can relax and think. Mason Currey of The Guardian, in his article found at, http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/05/daily-rituals-creative-minds-mason-currey states,

It was William James, the progenitor of modern psychology, who best articulated the mechanism by which a strict routine might help unleash the imagination. Only by rendering many aspects of daily life automatic and habitual, he argued, could we "free our minds to advance to really interesting fields of action". (James fought a lifelong struggle to inculcate such habits in himself.) Subsequent findings about "cognitive bandwidth" and the limitations of willpower have largely substantiated James's hunch: if you waste resources trying to decide when or where to work, you'll impede your capacity to do the work. Don't consider afresh each morning whether to work on your novel for 45 minutes before the day begins; once you've resolved that that's just what you do, it'll be far more likely to happen.

When I’m watering or weeding, my mind is free to wander because I’m not concentrating heavily, and I am not afraid of making mistakes in my creative ideas as much, because of the simplicity of the gardening I’m doing. The Psychology Today article talks about how concentrating too hard, and fear of failure can stifle creativity, and cites experiments that show,

The participants (who were asked to do creative activities,) who made the most creative products were those who didn’t know their work would be evaluated. They were just playing -- not concerned about judgments or rewards.

This goes along with other points the article makes, that positive thinking and optimism can lead creative people to invest more in their creativity, despite the odds of being recognized and compensated for their efforts. I don’t know if I will ever have success with my creative endeavors, but gardening helps me to be positive!

Perhaps gardening will help unleash your own artistry so that you may enjoy your garden many ways such as through photography, painting, floral arranging, cooking, entertaining, or relaxing as you think other thoughts.

Edward’s staff members are happy to provide support and advice throughout the gardening experience to strengthen each gardener’s skills at all experience levels.

 

Gretchen Weitemier

Occupational Therapist

Herbs and Veggies Worker