Achieving Happiness In Your Garden: The Tenth Secet

Once upon a time, I was sitting on a bench on my porch, thinking about the various flowers and vegetables and trees and shrubs that I had planted over the years when suddenly a bunny came up to me and began to speak.

“Carol, what do you think of your garden?”

I was speechless. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. Rabbits don’t talk!

But the rabbit, unfazed, followed up with an answer to his own question.

“I think you think it is nice enough, but there are parts you would like to change.”

Still speechless, I barely managed to nod my head in agreement.

The rabbit continued.

“You should take heed of the tenth secret for achieving happiness in your garden.”

Then he hopped off and disappeared beneath a large shrub.

The tenth secret? I was just getting over the shock of a talking rabbit when I realized I didn’t know the tenth secret. What was it? Where would I find it? When would I find it?

Just then I looked down and realized that the rabbit had left a tiny envelope labeled “The Tenth Secret”. I opened it like it was announcement of an Academy Award and read the message inside.

“The tenth secret for achieving happiness in your garden is to change your garden if you don’t like it.”

Change your garden?

Of course. As with the other secrets I had found, it was deceptively simple but made perfect sense.

If you don’t like your garden as it is, change it.

Are the flower borders too narrow? Change them by making them wider.

Is there a sickly tree marring the view from your favorite window? Change the view by cutting down the tree.

Are there flowers in the garden that you just don’t like? Maybe they were planted by a previous gardener, or maybe you keep seeing flowers at the garden center that you like better than those you have. Change out the flowers by digging up what you don’t like to pass on to another gardener who will love them.

Do you have nice plants but just don't like where they are planted? If they aren't too big, change their locations by (gasp) digging them up and moving them someplace else.

Life and the seasons are too short to keep tending your garden the same way year after year if you aren’t happy with how it is. Change your garden if you don’t like it.

My mind raced. I felt almost dizzy with excitement. That rabbit was right. I did want to change my garden, and I wanted to get started right away.

But first I put that tenth secret back in the envelope, knowing it would be difficult at times to follow, but that it, like all of the secrets, would help me achieve happiness in my garden. Then I carefully placed it in the old garden shed beside the book of the first five secrets I had discovered so long ago.

Change your garden if you don’t like it.


  1. Wonderful series. I thoroughly enjoyed it. All the secrets were so entertaining with some wisdom to share.

  2. Carol, This may be my favorite of all the 'Secrets'! It has marvelous applications to all of life~We sure do let ourselves get stuck in ruts! gail

  3. Well, I love the change of seasons in the garden and you are so right, change is inevitable when you are trying to achieve your own personal sanctuary.

  4. For some of us, change is the status quo of our gardens, we're always moving something, changing the size or shape of beds, redoing paths. Will our gardens ever be done? Do we want them to be?

  5. This is definitely the secret that best applies to me! I like changing things up in the garden ... I'm constantly tweaking to bring things more in line with my inner vision of what I want my garden to be.

  6. The thing about a garden is it changes whether or not you want it to! The seasons, the time of day, - plants grow! Some plants take over so yes, yes, yes, change things if they don't please you. But do think first why they don't please you. Is it because when you first saw the plant it wasn't just one but a whole group and you only had the space, or cash for one; Is that the combination isn't working and you could try changing just one of the plants. The secret is to know that it's your garden, do what YOU like. Christina

  7. I have so much enjoyed all the secrets you have discovered. They are so logical, and yet we don't always think of them, and even if we do, we often forget and need reminders. Thank you.

  8. Thanks for sharing the secrets with us Carol! I have enjoyed reading them and reflecting on them :)

  9. That rabbit just wants you to plant more things it likes to eat!

    I like to change things up, too. I can't say this on my blog, because my husband reads it, but I am working to pull a couple inches of grass each year from my side beds. They are too narrow.

  10. This is so true. Every year, I think it gets easier and easier to change what I don't like in my garden. Of course, the actual work gets harder and harder, but that's another story! Thanks for a delightful series!

  11. So true. I move my plants around almost on a weekly basis, especially the new ones.

    Thank you for sharing your ten secrets series.

  12. This series has been a joy to read and full of some very powerful wisdom.

    I have looked at a couple of places I want to change, but the job seems almost impossibly big. Maybe I should "ask for help" (!)

  13. Haha i guess that was one cute rabbit that told you about the tenth secret. Sometimes gardeners have friends like those that teach them the ways to make their gardens bloom beautifully for everyone's eyes, especially theirs. I recently changed my garden's grass and i LOVED it!

  14. If we are having indoor garden then that could be the process of achieving happiness. Different plants require different kinds and amounts of fertilization. You should be aware of each planning your indoor garden

  15. Thank you Carol for providing such great wisdom in such a fun format! I wasn't a big fan of the movie Benjamin Button, but there was a line he said in that movie that went like this: "I hope that if you are not satisfied with your life that you have the courage to change it." And that is exactly what the mysterious vanishing bunny sage said as well. Ron, even with indoor gardening though, the tenth secret never said the changes would be easy, just that they were necessary for fulfillment and happiness.


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