How Does Your Garden Grow?

April 30, 2018 by The FlexPro Group

Is Spring finally here? I sure hope so, it’s been over a week since I’ve seen any snow flurries here in southeastern PA! Another sure sign of spring was the packed parking lot at my local garden center this past weekend. Everyone seems anxious to get outside after what felt like an endless winter. I know I can’t wait to spend more time outside. One of my favorite things to do this time of year is work in my garden. It looks so sad after the long winter and I find it fun and relaxing bringing it all back to life. I can’t wait to get out there and get started again, but wait…you didn’t expect me to just start digging anywhere, did you? A project manager never attacks a project without a plan!

I have a fair amount of ground to cover, so can you imagine the gardening chaos if I were to just to start throwing flowers around anywhere? An impatience here or a dianthus there. And what about the color coordination of my zinnias and my Gerber daisies? Have you ever been to the garden center at Lowe’s or Home Depot? It’s daunting! So many choices and varieties. Is this good in the sun? Will this grow in the shade? This one needs a lot of water, but this one not so much. This one gets tall, but this one spreads out.

I think I may be hyperventilating.

Fortunately, I’m pretty well acquainted with the five project management process groups, which are critical in executing my gardening strategy.

  1. Initiate: Decide on scope and budget. What’s in and what’s out? How big or small this year? What’s the goal?

  2. Plan: Research and select layouts. Read blogs and look at Pinterest. Visit garden centers. Determine varieties to purchase and locations for planting. Select and group based on amount of sun and water needed. Take inventory of supplies (do I need a new hose or gloves, etc.)

  3. Execute: Purchase all plants, mulch and supplies. Plant to the previously selected layouts, fertilize and mulch.

  4. Monitor and Control: Water regularly, weed, feed, deadhead, prune, check for insects or disease. Adjust as needed.

  5. Close: At the end of the growing season, do a “Lessons Learned” to see which plants survived and thrived. Was success based on good plant stock, poor care, or simply choosing the right plants for the right conditions? Were the key stakeholders (me, my spouse) satisfied with the results? Next year’s project will be better if we learn from this year’s failures!

Sure, I’ll make it look easy as I float around my garden digging a little hole here and dropping in a plant there. I’ll scoop some dirt around and feather on the mulch barely even breaking a sweat. Then I’ll stand back and very casually survey my little flower kingdom thinking, “Yeah, I’m a natural.”, while knowing full well it was all the thoughtful planning and excellent execution at the heart of it all. As I walk back into the house, carelessly tossing my dirty gloves aside, only I will know that the secret to my gardening success is a PMP certification. I am Rose Cook, PROJECT MANAGER, and I will manage every flower and plant that comes my way. Welcome to my garden!  Enjoy yours (and please send me pictures!)

-Rose Cook, FlexPro CEO

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