Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tiger Garden's Mission Statement & Name Origin

Helen at Gardening with Confidence wrote a post on her garden's mission statement and the name of her garden. I suspect many gardeners' mission statements will look similar to Helen's, as it is an admirable one indeed. In fact, my mission statement is very similar.

After reading Helen's thought provoking post I really got to thinking about the purpose and mission of my garden, the entire thing. What a hard thing to really peg down! You see purposes and missions are not always the same thing.

That being said, I think I have my garden's mission down to a workable mission statement. It is as follows:

Tiger Garden's mission is to be a cohesive, sustainable community of living and non-living elements working together in harmony to provide the best possible living area and enjoyment for its residents.

Mission statements are not an easy thing to write. If they were there would not be as many college and Army leadership classes as there are to try to teach folks how to write mission statements. You see, a mission statement should be very succinct (straight to the point and concise). It should not be so long as to bore one to death, and it really should be easy to remember. Given these constraints, how does one sum up an entire garden in a mission statement? It can be done, but it will take some serious thought, and why not?

I first looked at the purposes or objectives of my garden. There are many purposes and many roles the garden serves for my family so I will sum them up in one long list:

Here are some purposes and objectives of my garden:
To make me happy
To provide privacy
To provide lots of color
To reduce maintenance
To beautify my home
To work with the environment
To recycle both household and garden wastes
To reduce erosion and runoff
To provide fresh food for our family and friends
To teach others
To showcase diversity
To create a living community amongst plants, insects and wildlife
To leave a legacy for anyone who wants to take it over

You can see how many purposes and objectives my garden has in my humble opinion, but how did I arrive at its mission?

I was taught in business school that a good mission statement represents the purpose of something (usually an enterprise) in the broadest sense it can. The mission statement should be meaningful. My mission statement (for my purposes) describes what my garden does and why. It does not include my vision for the garden; which is totally different from a mission statement. For instance, my last purpose listed above says, "To leave a legacy for anyone who wants to take it over." This is a vision or goal if you will, and not a mission of my garden. This is where I see my garden going someday. It is not what the garden does. What does the garden do besides serving purposes?

In simple terms I can easily sum up the above purposes by this statement:

Provide a sustainable community for all living creatures.

Why does the garden do this?

Because it is best for the enjoyment of life, mine and my family's, and our pets, as well as all living things that coexist with us in the garden.

When I put the two above statements together, I come up with the mission statement as outlined in red at the start of this post.

This is clearly the mission of my garden, no matter the purposes and goals I have listed. The way Tiger Gardens will accomplish its mission is summed up daily with posts from....In the Garden.

One of the best pictures I could use to sum up the 'sustainable community' part of my garden's mission statement is the one I posted. Look closely and you will see a spider resting in the zinnia-a perfect community in harmony.

And for those of you who do not know where the name of our gardens comes from and who might be interested, it is an amalgamation of my first name and my husband's first name. Mine is Tina, Mr. Fix-it's is Roger, hence TIGER when you put the two parts together, just like we are in marriage.

Do check out Helen for more mission statements and names and give it a try yourself.

in the garden....


  1. Good morning Tina, that was perfect. Your mission statement and why and how you arrived at it are succinct to the extreme! Such a good word for your writing, BTW. I am incapable of such writing or even thinking, way too flighty! :-)

  2. Well done Tina! You have furthered the education to give people the skills to write a mission statement. The good news, is that individual garden owners know the subject first hand making it easy for them to do. They "own it" sort of speak, making it even easier to write. I welcome any mission statement to add to the list I'm compiling. I will add yours Tina. Most likely I'll post in February and will continue to add all year. So, again thanks for taking the challenge and alerting and educating your readers to do so themselves. H.

  3. Very good Tina! I'm adding to the debate on this tomorrow :)

  4. Great post Tina. I immediately started thinking of my mission statement. I will work on that thought all day!

  5. Good Morning Tina,
    Great food for thought. I hadn't really reflected on what the mission behind my garden should be. Will have to assess my own goals and aspirations.
    Did apply to join Blotanical, waiting to hear for a password and access.

  6. Tina,

    A wonderful tutorial on writing mission statements.

    Clever name!


  7. I had never thought of my garden in those terms. I'm not sure my garden has a mission;) It's certainly something to think about and I appreciate the brief lesson in developing a mission statement.

  8. Nice mission stsatement, I'd have a hard time with that on anything! To long and boring!

  9. Very good and very clever, I liked your mission a lot and I do mean a lot....can I copy it? :-)
    Ti+ger that is clever too
    LOLove Tyra

  10. Hi again Tina,
    Just a small correction in 'Blogging friend around the world' I delighted to be on the list but it is wrong country I live in Vaxholm, Sweden :-) I know you probably say - Same, same but different! How much does it cost to come up on you other 'look what I have posted' list?
    xoxo Tyra

  11. Tina,

    Excellent! You've done a marvelous job of describing your mission statement~~I do think that my taprooted
    posts and several others are pretty close to a mission statement...if I wrote one it would have to metaphorical!

    I see the sun peaking out and boy is it welcome!


  12. Excellent post Tina!

    Mission statements and lists of purposes and objectives typically make my eyes glaze over (one of many reasons I gladly escaped from corporate America.) It's a whole different animal when applied to the garden though, and becomes something I can intimately relate to.

  13. Well now, this post can make ones mind race wild for hours. Good post.

  14. Great post today Tina. I think you nailed your mission statement! I like how you combined the first two letters of your name with the last three of Mr. Fix-its to get the name of your garden. A lovely union indeed. :)

  15. You are making us think today Tina. Great idea of Helen's and you explain it so clearly. I've never thought of a mission statement for my garden before (nor have I ever named my garden) but I'll see what I can come up with. You did a good job with yours.

  16. Good morning all!

    Frances, Thanks! Many term papers taught me a few things-and do you know in grad school all the classmates wanted me on their team and TO write the paper? Wonder why? Ha! You did a good job this morning on your 'term paper' so I am thinking you can write however you want but there are many styles for sure and I do love your style-not flighty at all-more dreamy or how did Stuart say it? hmmmmmmm

    Helen, Thanks. This is a good exercise for everyone. Business folks already know mission statements all too well-but they are important. And thanks on the name. We think it is clever and have plans for it someday. Don't know what we would've come up with had he a name like Tom or Frank.

    VP, I'll be checking your post! Can't wait!

    Linda, It is hard! Really not an easy thing when you try to nail it down. Good luck! And email me when you have the time.

    Janet, It is a hard thing to nail down a mission for sure. Good luck! And hopefully you will get your password soon. Blotanical is great fun!

    Cameron, Thanks! We really studied mission statements in college but not in a way that they were meaningful to me, so this was a good exercise. No stress either-the fun of blogging!

    Marnie, Good morning! Thinking of a mission for a garden is not something we really consciously think about, but really they do have a mission, if only to make the gardener happy, relieve stress, provide a habitat for wildlife or whatever. It is hard. Hope I wasn't too overboard with the lesson, just thinking out line with my reasoning. Helps me to think~!

    Dawn, You for SURE need a mission statement for your Etsy store. What is its purpose in a broad sense? To make money? To develop a reputation? To brighten homes with handcrafted gifts? To provide an outlet for your talents? Think about it. Even you guys's business should have a mission. To provide the best heating and air conditioning service within the state of Maine to ensure no resident ever has to be without? Or something like that? A neat lesson for a business person. Most big businesses practice it and everyone has to learn it, but not mandatory of course:)

    Tyra, You can copy my mission statement if you like for sure. There is no ownership of it. I changed the link and I am embarrassed as I am not sure why I thought you were in Norway! It is now Sweden and I think the two are NOT the same. I am glad you told me. I do try very hard to keep it up to date. On the "Blogging Friends", everyone who comments on here gets added to the blogging friends. My little way of honoring them all. I started this list with the blog BEFORE blogroll came about. Now I have the blogroll and Blotanical. Blogging friends are either on the blogroll or Blotanical or both. You are currently on Blotanical for me. Those on both are very old blogging friends and ones I talk to very frequently. There are so many that I talk to now that I have to spread the wealth around on either Blotanical or the blogroll or I just can't keep up with them all. I also HAVE to adjust both lists periodically due to having so many blogging friends. As I lose contact with folks or gain contact with new folks the lists change. My way of housekeeping and giving everyone equal time and credit and managing my time with blogging, but blogging friends around the world stays intact and I do visit blogs from there periodically, and I always comment to let them know I visited. Also because I like to talk and commenting just takes a few secs. But since you asked, I am more than happy to put you on the blogroll. You are the first to ask and it is fine. Now I have you on both spots!

    Gail, Good morning. That taprooted post was surely a good post. You see I have the business background and you the psychology background and when in school I found the two are like day and night. Hence the different writing styles and the metaphors and so on. In fact, in my first PSYC class the teacher asked who had never taken a PSYC class before. I raised my hand (the class was a 300 level Child Psychology) and she said I should drop the class as it would be too hard for me. I will have you know I have NEVER dropped a class in my 20 plus years of college (HA) and wasn't about to drop that one. I got an A of course but the differences made me understand the divisions in college disciplines. Very eye opening. There is wide variety of writing styles on blogs and they are all so interesting and very personal-just like the bloggers! A good thing I think.

    Linda, I knew you'd understand. Those mission statements. Urgh! So boring really but helpful in a broad way I guess. Do enjoy your time off.

    Mom, Yup, who would think a garden has a mission? In short terms its mission is really to make me happy:)

    Racquel, Thanks so much. I thought long and hard prior to posting hubby's name since it has not been on here, but I knew everyone would wonder so I took the dive. Poor guy. Good thing he is such a good sport. We really like the name and how it worked out. When he retires from the Army (two years or so) we may open a business so the name will most likely carry over to that too. Who knows.

  17. Kathleen, Thanks! It was not an easy thing. Helen did not even ask for posts but when I read her post I started thinking (the little hamster began running on the wheel in my brain). So here is the product. Good luck with yours!

  18. Somehow the idea of writing a mission statement (something I've been forced to do many times as a marketing writer on the job) for a garden had never occurred to me, and I guess because I associate it with work, I just can't bring myself to make one for the garden. But if I had to narrow it down, I would say it's about who I am when I'm in the garden, not about what the garden is. To me, garden is a verb, not a noun. Thanks for making me think about it.

  19. Tina, that is one fine mission statement! I find writing something short, like a synopsis, harder than writing something long, like a novel. You excel at both the long (gardening) and the short. I like how you blended your names.

  20. I suppose garden mission statements are okay for some folks. But I elect not to have one. I do too much writing already. Which isn't to say I don't enjoy my opus. ;~)

  21. Happy New Year, Tina. Wow! Reading your wonderful post made me realise that I've never gone beyond just some of the points you'd mentioned. Namely, making me happy and making my surroundings better. A mission statement is something I'll have to think about... Loved the way you've blended your names. What a great idea!

  22. Monica, It is an interesting concept isn't it? Work indeed for the business person though.

    Sarah, It is hard getting the message out in a short amount of words. Guess you will not be writing any short stories?:)

    TC, You don't have to write one if you don't want to, but think about it-what is the garden's mission? It is a hard thing to think about but really there is a purpose and goal (mission) to all gardens I would think. Otherwise why have a garden? Even if it is to make one happy; which we all know our gardens do for us.

    Kanak, Hi there! I've been missing you! Hope all is well. Yes, thinking of a mission for a garden is kind of strange, but makes sense. Thanks on the blending of our names-good thing it worked out as I am not all that creative and would've had a hard time coming up with something cute and workable with different names. Ha! Have a great day!

  23. Wow, another Deep One today Tina. lol... Makes one dig deep into their soul for answers.

    Hum, We named our property "Oasis in the Woods" We have lived in rental house's and apartments for most of our 20 something years together. We have dealt with noisy and nosy neighbors where ever we have lived. Our first purchased house in the woods is full of privacy, nature and serenity! Hence, Oasis in the woods!

    I don’t really know why I enjoy digging in the dirt so much. Maybe it goes back to my childhood days of innocence driving those Tonka Trucks around in the dirt with my brother while listening to the birds signing above.

    Maybe my grandmothers influences of her beautiful flower gardens and her love of the Garden Club and her many fresh floral arrangements in the house at any given time.

    Maybe the fresh vegetables and apples from the huge garden we shared with our neighbor who did most of the work while we provided the land and hungry mouths to feed.

    Maybe my love of animals and being so close to them while in my yard digging around.

    Wow, this does make one think a bit. To sum up: Peace, Nature, Memories and Happiness of seeing results from my hands….

  24. Now Skeeter, You make it look so easy for us all! Love the name and it so suits your place! You guys have done so much there at the 'Oasis', it is beautiful.

    Leon, Hello and welcome! I am truly honored you stopped by this little blog. I have NEVER visited a blog as busy as yours, and such an interesting one too. Thanks for stopping by. I am great and thanks for asking!

  25. Having worked in nonprofit most of my life it seems easier to formulate a mission statement for an institution than it is for a garden! At least with a garden you can change it easily - and even from year to year, right? Maybe I will make a mission statement for the garden a New Years resolution this year.

  26. JGH, Mission statements for the garden are something one would never ever think of huh? Very interesting concept switching the mission around to our very own gardens versus businesses.

  27. Well done, Tina! I remember having to write mission statements during committee work while teaching; they are not easy to write in terms of making them meaningful and concise. You have done an excellent job. I've never examined my own purposes in gardening in such an analytical way, but I think your mission statement speaks for many of us.

    Glad you pointed out the photo--if I hadn't enlarged it, I would have missed the spider. What a great photo!

    The word verification is "psychus," LOL.