The rhythm of gardening has been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember. The progression of seasons encouraging a new set of motions with each change. Picking, eating, sharing, preserving, clearing, resetting, and now with the beginning of Spring and with Summer on the horizon it is time to pull out the tools, turn the soil and plant starts and seeds. This is my favorite time for the garden as each day brings a new discovery or mystery.
This is the time of year when my day begins and ends with a check-in on my seeds – have they changed? Is there new growth? I wait in anticipation as each pot of dirt spouts new life. It’s addicting… and a great lesson in patience.

Gardening helps me feel grounded, connected and rejuvenated. Especially during times of stress or anxiety, there is something about getting your hands dirty and creating a fresh environment that engages all of the senses and sparks feelings of fulfillment, pride, and steadiness. Further, it has opened new avenues for connecting with both my family and a wide network of other gardeners as we enthusiastically discuss strategies, successes, failures, share photos and ponder garden mysteries.

My garden has looked different every year, from a couple of pots in the windowsill to companion planting in a variety of dollar store containers on my balcony, to planting and maintaining 4-6 garden beds with enough food to feed my family for the summer and fall – I have learned that there is no one way to be a “gardener”. It all depends on the space you have, your time, capacity, and desire. The same goes for deciding what to plant – there is, of course, a lot of information out there on where to put your plants, how much to water them, what type of soil, what temperature, etc. which is great to follow and learn about if that interests you! Sometimes I meticulously plan out what to plant where, when and with what, other years I throw seeds into a pot and hope for the best. Either way, I strongly believe that the best way to succeed in gardening is to experiment and focus on what interests you. Finding something you are curious about and see if you can make it work. Don’t hold your breath or set high expectations – have fun with it! I have grown multiple avocado trees from seed, a few lemon plants, and even ginger simply because I wanted to see if it was possible in my 600 square foot apartment. There is no point in growing tomatoes unless you are interested in tomatoes!

If you are looking to start a garden this year and need a nudge in the right direction here are a few resources to start you off.

Good plants to get started with:
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Mint (plant mint in a container otherwise it will take over your entire yard!)
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Snap peas
  • Chives
  • Strawberries
  • Green Onions (if you buy whole ones from the grocery store they can be replanted at home. Just soak the white ends in water for a few days, then once the roots have begun to grow, stick them in dirt.)
  • Potatoes (surprisingly easy to grow in a container!)
  • Spider plants (my favorite indoor decorative plant – so easy to care for!)

This time of year there are plenty of places to stock up on seeds, starts, and soil including most grocery stores, local nurseries, and farmer’s markets. Pots can be basically anything – If I don’t care about how they look I am often hunting in my recycling bin, otherwise, thrift stores or the dollar store are my go-to!

Planting indoors:
  • Build an Earth box: Some Power To Be‘s Wilderness School alumni show you how to build an Earth box which allows you to plant indoors and ensure that your seeds are getting enough water. Check it out!
Online Resources:


  • Garden Works: Chain of local nurseries in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island, Garden Works is my favorite place to spend an afternoon and find a new plant to take home. They are currently offering home delivery or pick up from the store. Their website also has plenty of tips and tricks!


  • Compost Education Centre: Local to Victoria, the Compost Education Centre is a great non-profit organization that offers a variety of free or low-cost workshops around composting, gardening basics, native plants, tea making and many more! All of their courses are being offered through online platforms currently.

This blog was written by Ashleigh Hawes, Power To Be‘s Volunteer and Impact Coordinator. A former Power To Be volunteer herself, she loves seeing how outdoor experiences bring people together and creates community.