Giving things a go, fear of failure, hardiness and the art of DIY and gardening

Yesterday I bought the book, DIY Garden Projects by the Little Veggie Patch Co ( and have got half way through it already. It’s also available on eBay.


I was particularly taken by the message in the introduction dealing with hardiness and giving things a go.

The authors’ message was that when we were all young we would give anything a go, but these days fear of failure prevents us doing so. When young it didn’t need to be perfect, but as the years passed, if we can’t do a task perfectly like a grand master, often that stops us doing it at all.

I’ll share a few short quotes from the introduction to give you an idea :

Inhibition is truly the greatest obstacle to learning

We all start out as absolute duds – let’s not forget that our failures make the best stories

Hardiness isn’t something you are born with…it’s something that is learned…that means the ability to do something well enough to enjoy it. Give yourself a break and let go of being the best. Only one person can be ‘the best”, but there is still a lot of room for the rest of us to have a little bit of knowledge.

In my opinion it is a great message, don’t let the quest for perfection stop you from doing things. I’ll never be the meticulous carpenter my father was, but that’s not going to stop me building a raised garden bed following these easy to use instructions in the book. I’ll try not to lose any fingers with the circular saw, but I do expect some less than 90 degree joints and a few splinters!

If you having been wondering how to do some small gardening or DIY projects, whether you live in a unit with one small verandah (there are some great small/vertical garden projects in the book), have space for a veggie patch but don’t know where to start or are looking for some simple projects to get the kids interested in nature, where food comes from and eating their veggies, this book is for you.

So even if you’ve never picked up a screwdriver, go buy this book, it’s a simple, humorous read and go get started.

Lastly, don’t forget the key message, it’s more important to get up and do something, rather than let the fear of failure or fear of it not being ‘perfect’ stop you. Grab the book (or find a simple project online), find something that could work as a pot, drill or poke some holes in the bottom, buy a bag of potting mix and a basil seedling from the local hardware store/nursery and get started! As the authors’ finish their introduction :

Let’s abandon the anxiety and potential humiliation and get a little excited. Remember, there is no limit, only more to explore.


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