They say that practice makes perfect and, while I’m certainly not an accomplished gardener or photographer, I love learning (probably the reason why I have two degrees and a postgraduate diploma – staying in full-time education was much more appealing than getting an actual job!). My downfall, however, is my lack of patience – I want to do everything now and fast. But sometimes, especially when you’re doing something new, it’s better to take your time, think about it and have it all mapped out in your head before you actually do it.
Take these flowers I planted today which go by the rather impossible name of Osteospermum. I saw them in the garden centre and was drawn to them because they look like daisies which are my favourite flowers. Knowing I had an empty pot at home, I bought four and rushed home to plant them only to realise that I didn’t have enough compost so back to the garden centre I went to buy some more. Then, instead of waiting until this evening when I would have more time, I just had to plant them straight away even though I only had half an hour until school pick up time. I think they turned out OK but I can’t help thinking that if I had spent more time on the preparation and planting, the end result would have been prettier.
Both photography and gardening are skills that require patience and a steady approach, stopping to think about the composition of a photograph before you press the button or making sure the flowers are positioned correctly before adding the layer of top soil. I think if I could just slow down I would enjoy it more and as a result improve my skills faster. I’m impatient by nature and it’s an aspect of my personality that has been honed by years of working in a fast-paced newsroom where the next deadline was always looming. Perhaps if I could teach myself to slow down that would the greatest lesson of them all.