All good things...
Oh yes..we all know the saying "All good things must come to an end."Not so sure I believe that. I believe they often just mutate into another this or that...good thing.
Over the last few weeks I have heard from so many of you fellow hobby gardeners... Some just trying this gardening thing out for the first time... Some old pros who have had a green thumb for years... Here is what I know for sure, whatever coast you are on it has been a very trying growing year. Either too much rain or none at all and no shortage of random weather in between. There are blights, bugs and fungus galore. Really no surprise at all at the frustration many of my new gardener friends have had this year... Figure I would share some of my gardening wisdom. It has nothing to do with how to "fix" any of the above. More about how to find peace with it all.
See people aren't happy when plants die...get disease...don't produce. They get frustrated...sometimes there maybe some pouting, kicking or even tears of frustration and "I suck at this!" All totally normal! After all you put your blood, sweat and tears into these little plants you expect to get something back. Maybe when we put a plant in the ground we should realize we get more than the fruit...we get the experience of growing something. Not such a great thing for many...we live in a world where folks want simple, easy, fast and cheap. Gardening will not give you these things quite often. My first few years we put a garden in here we started with 4 little square foot beds. Square foot beds are supposed to be "so easy"...right? Pretty sure you can go back in the archives on here and find those first beds several years back. They were absolute, complete, huge, ginormous failures. The veggies would grow and nothing, nothing, would produce. Heartbreaking.
I didn't give up though. I knew I just had more to learn...many lessons to be learned. Nature had something to teach me. Actually many things to teach me. My first problem was the lack of 6+ hours of sunshine. Second problem was lack of any kindof pollinating creature in my yard. Third problem...crappy soil. Very crappy soil. Gardening is this slow and steady type of hobby. Not a quick endeavor at all. Ever heard the saying "watching my garden grow"... ya I do alot of that "watching". Every gardener does. I also do a whole lot of "tending". Let's face it...my feet are permanently dirty I think. My hands are calloused and I can show you at least 1-3 blisters on my hands at any given time. This is NOT what normal people would consider "fun" I would suspect.
So why do I love it? In my garden I find so many things.... It's so peaceful and quiet (especially opposed to my crazy life with endless amounts of children...a typical day will have at least 3-7 children running through this house. I love them all but a gal needs a quite place to gather her thoughts every now and then.) It's magical. Perhaps because I am paying attention to the small little miracles everyday...every morning...every evening. It's different every. single. day. It's a never ending challenge and forces me to use my brain daily. It's hard labor that gives me a far better work out than any gym class. It feeds not only my family...but my soul. It is the one place I can still connect daily with nature without having to pack it up and go to a park. I need that daily connection. It teaches me patience. Lots and lots of it. It reminds me that I can let go. I do not have to "control" nature...because no one can control nature. In turn it has taught me a healthy respect and reverence for nature. It allows me to share my love of nature with every child that sets foot in this house. It is all worth it when I get to watch a child who has never even laid eyes on a garden, getting to pick their first tomato from a real plant...priceless. Rewarding to no end. Some have an "open door" policy (we have that here as well) but we have an "open garden" policy. Gardens are to be shared. It allows me to share...
Yes, it may not be for everyone...but it shouldn't be. There are those of us who live for this and love nothing more than to share what grows in our garden with others. You don't have to feel like a failure if you tried to garden and absolutely found you hated every minute of it. Lucky for all of us there are these amazing Farmers Markets all over the country now! You don't have to grow your own.... But I highly recommend supporting your local farmer. Especially if you tried gardening this year and found that is indeed...alot of work! Those local farmers need all the love and support they can get. And just because you hated having a garden doesn't mean you have to stop growing things...try some fresh herbs! Easy and a great way to continue to spend sometime with nature with half the hassle! My neighbors all know they are welcome to come and get those herbs anytime they need them for cooking etc...such a great thing to have in a back yard! There is a reason farmers/gardener all seem to talk to one another and become fast friends... It is hard work. Only a handful of people actually have the desire to want to do something as equally heartbreaking and magical as gardening. Sharing/listening to knowledge from another is how you become a bit better at it...really you have to share what you know and listen to what another knows. Somewhere in the middle you can normally find the solution to garden problems.
I kill things. I have plants die, often.
I don't go around spraying them with chemicals, cursing at the sky or even stomping my feet on the ground. I simply pull up the dead/disease/done for plant, say "thank you" for what it has given me and start the process all over again. Next up...time for the Fall garden. I think we are going to build a row cover this year as a homeschool project. Bets on whether Lucas just thinks it is a fun new toy to play in? :-)