A healthy and flourishing garden is one that is also buzzing with life – with regular visits from bees and other pollinators to maintain its beauty.
In this article I’ll be exploring what insights we can take from how to have a beautiful garden buzzing with life, and apply them to having a life that is similarly buzzing and equally as beautiful.
There are multiple species of bees we may wish to attract into our gardens - bubble bees, honey bees, and even solitary bees.
Whilst buzzing in a garden is commonly associated with bees there’s also many other insects that pollinate our gardens whether that’s wasps, flies, or even the inaudible buzz from butterflies 😉.
When designing a garden we’re not therefore going to focus on, nor try to attract, just one single source of buzz. It’s essential in fact that we attract as wide a range of pollinators as possible. Ensuring we’re not reliant for our buzz on any one species.
Isn’t that the same in our lives?
By focusing all our energy on one area of our life to the exclusion of others we become reliant on that area despite its inability to meet all our needs.
For example, work might provide us with challenge or achievement, a relationship love or connection, friends may provide laughter or support, a hobby may give us creativity or connection with nature, and going to the gym support our health and well-being.
The problems arise when, for example, we expect work or a relationship to provide all of these needs as friends, hobbies and the gym are dismissed or side-lined.
To have a buzzing life it’s important therefore that we design a life with time spent across a wide range of areas such as for example work, relationship, family, friends, health, me time, hobbies, personal growth, environment, contribution, spirituality and so on.
2. What makes you Buzz?
The bees, insects and butterflies have a clear sense of what they’re searching for. Our selection of plants and shrubs in the garden therefore will determine what pollinators we attract into it. Some pollinators are attracted by the scent, others by colour, or pattern and others may be looking for pollen and/or nectar.
In others words, the pollinators will buzz into the garden because it’s providing them with what they need or want, and that they want will differ for every species and even every individual pollinator and might change by season, month or day.
I’d suggest this is similar to our values. We light up when our values are met, and will take action in order for this to take place. Everything we do is motivated by the desire to have a value met.
Understanding our values is therefore helpful when wanting to get more buzz into our lives, because it’s having these values met that will provide the buzz, and not doing so that will be providing the ZZs and draining our energy.
The most accurate means of determining our values is to ask the question “what’s important about doing that?” about any aspect of our lives, and to then keep asking the question until we don’t get a different answer.
For example, to explore my values at work I determine an area I enjoy - coaching others.
I could then revisit what’s important about coaching others and get another answer such as ‘connection’. By asking the same questions the journey might be much shorter and still be connection. Or asking again I might get ‘asking powerful questions’ and then find the route to a value is: asking powerful questions/ analysis/ patterns.
Which means even in this brief exploration I’ve identified: freedom, connection and patterns as values for my coaching. I might then explore other aspects of my work I enjoy, or even aspects of it I don’t enjoy.
The aim it to develop a list of 5-7 values for each area of our lives – a different set of value for each area. If we can place them into a hierarchy all the better. The benefit of doing this is that we can then determine what we need to do to get more buzz into our lives – in the example above, and if I was feeling a little flat at work, I would need to think about what would provide freedom, connection or analysis.
To give you a sense of other values you might be motivated towards here’s a very short list – achievement, authenticity, authority, balance, challenge, connection, control, creativity, fairness, honesty, laughter, learning, love, openness, recognition, respect, responsibility, security, service, success, trust, wealth and wisdom.
Once we understand what makes us buzz we can then set about designing a garden that maximises attracting those pollinators into our garden.
3. Attract the Buzz
When designing a garden we don’t just fill it with one variety of one plant, we look to have a wide range of plants in the garden offering different scents, colours, patterns, heights and textures.
Which in my life translates into meaning that even if I know I am motivated by patterns I may not try to get that need met by coaching every week. I may write a metaphorical blog. I might read a who dunnit crime novel, or pass some time on a puzzle or three (Ok 10 - as who can stop once they’ve started?).
The key is having a menu of activities to choose from that meet our values. Which means when life is a little dull we’ve got a prescription to dip into to get us buzzing again. I’d suggest that in addition to more intense activities having a few small activities we can do at a drop of hat is great at being able to shift mood quickly. It certainly explains why I take to the puzzle book when feeling out of sorts.
4. All year round Buzz
The plants the pollen and nectar come from will differ throughout the year – with willow offering some early spring opportunities, and ivy late autumn.
The key is ensuring we’re not expecting buzz from the same plant every week of every month of the year.
It’s the same with activities in our lives. I suspect there’s a law of diminishing returns from trying to do the same thing over and over. I certainly don’t enjoy doing puzzles every week. Mixing it up to provide all year round variety is more likely to extend the buzzing.
5. Buzzing in the wildness and chaos
A flourishing and buzzing garden isn’t about having everything planted, pruned and weeded to within a millimeter of its life.
It’s about allowing some dead tree branches to be left in the corner to allow for the solitary bee to ‘nest’, or allowing some bare ground for the mining bees, or purposely designing a wild garden for the butterflies.
As I reflect on these words the part that resonates most for me at this time is leaving some bare ground – that is, not filling very square inch or minute with something to do.
For others the insight might be about allowing a little more chaos and unscheduled time into their life where they can react to what’s going on around them rather than try to control everything.
For others the insight might be about not rushing to declutter their lives of the deadwood and just allowing it to settle first.
6. Feeding and watering the Buzz
I’ll cut to the chase, we all need feeding, watering and time spent in sunshine.
Like plants I’d suggest we also need to take care on avoiding pollutants and other negative environmental impacts.
7. Maintenance of the Buzz
If we don’t regularly maintain a garden it’s easy for plants to get over grown, and others to take over thus reducing the diversity in the garden and thereby reducing the diversity of pollinators it attracts.
Even a wild garden takes time and effort to keep it in balance and buzzing
Our lives also require proactive maintenance – whether that’s nurturing
our own bodies, cutting back activities that no longer provide any buzz, weeding out the people that sap our energy, or pruning out the deadwood of our relationship so that it continues to flourish.
The key is to be proactive rather than just reacting when our garden is a
complete and utter mess!
Which of the above aspects of your life do you need to spend some time redesigning, and when will you do that?
Do get in touch if you'd like to find out more about getting your buzz back.