A White Coneflower transplant that I planted in my wildflower garden
this past week after most of the wildflower seeds that I planted this spring failed
to grow as planned.
Dear Readers, I will admit it: I am a Planner. I love it
when I have a carefully laid out plan, and everything works out according to that
plan. When things work out according to the
schedule that I have planned, and all of the details that I worked out in
my mind and on paper come to fruition, I think to myself, “Ah, all is right with the world!” and, “Of course it all
worked out. I had a plan!”
The truth is, though, most of the time in life, things do
not actually work out according to “the plan.” Things come up in our carefully planned out schedules that
we didn’t anticipate and we must adjust our plans, or we must completely throw
them out the window. People get
sick. Accidents and bad weather happen. Events get cancelled. Our financial resources fall through
and we must make different arrangements or change things entirely.
In our gardens, things don’t always go according to our
plans either, and if you are a newer gardener like me and are still learning a lot
of skills and other things about gardening, a lot of things can happen that
disrupt your lovely garden plan for the season. The truth is, nature
doesn’t really care about your plans.
Weather events are unpredictable, and for most of us, such things are beyond
I actually think that
secretly, squirrels and other critters laugh at our garden plans and plot
So far this season, dear Readers, I have had issues with a
lot of rain making things very soggy in my garden, and this has made it
difficult for some plants to establish themselves. A number of
them have not survived (I will likely have no cabbages this year, for instance,
as none of the cabbage transplants that I started and planted in my garden have
lived) and others have been slower to establish. I have had ants in
multiple places throughout my yard, which has made it difficult to grow things
in certain areas. I have had
squirrels digging in my herb spiral and eating my strawberries from my
strawberry plant. The squirrels
don’t seem to care that I have a fence around my main garden area, as they just
climb up and over the fence and dig wherever they please. My perennial wildflower garden, which I
attempted to seed twice with wildflower seeds also failed to take off on its
own. These are just a few of my
gardening woes that I had not encountered last year.
I have vowed to make this blog a record of many of the good
things that happen in my garden and homestead, but also a record of when things
don’t go so well, and to tell you about many of the things that I have learned
along the way. I want you to know
that you don’t need to be the perfect gardener right away, or ever. I certainly am not a perfect gardener
yet. Perhaps I will never be
one. I think that’s okay.
Don’t be afraid to try different things, experiment and
learn. I think that in our
culture, we are often told, “Do it right
or just go home.” To expect
perfection right away does not leave much room for personal growth or for
learning from our mistakes. We are
in a time of history that we can learn right now. Although, for some around the world, if your crop fails you
will not eat, for many of us, we still have the blessing of being able to
experiment and learn “as we grow.”
Take advantage of that and work to gain knowledge and skills as best you
can, at your own pace. Don’t be afraid
to try new garden techniques, and try growing different plants and varieties
that you’ve never tried growing before.
What’s the worse thing that could happen?
It’s okay for things to fail, because we can learn a lot
through those experiences and we will be all the wiser next time if we are
paying attention to what happened.
You can even share with others what you have learned, which can help
them in their own gardening endeavors.
Gardening and homesteading is an entire global community of people that
love doing these things and love to share their knowledge and wisdom. As you learn more, you can contribute
to the global network of knowledge as well.
I hope that with my willingness to be open about my garden and homestead triumphs and failures, you are inspired to go for it and just be
willing to fail if you must.
Often, success happens after we have failed many times. A successful product often has a
history of many failed products and projects before it.
Thomas Edison, the great
inventor, said, “Our greatest weakness
lies in giving up. The most
certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” He also said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they
were to success when they gave up.”
If anyone knew about what it takes to succeed, it was Thomas
Edison. Never give up, whether it is
in your garden or homestead, with your health, or to achieve your dreams.
The Black-Eyed Susan transplant that I purchased from my
favorite local garden center. The fact that I had to buy some transplants for my garden is another reason why we can’t always “go it alone.” Often, our plans for our own resiliency need to include our
community. It is very difficult to
“be an island” unto ourselves, and we may need help from others when our own
My new Prairie Splendor Coneflower plant. I hope that the pollinators will like it, along with the other
transplants that I planted this past week.
Even though I planted four tomato transplants that I started from
seed in my new keyhole garden bed, it looks like none of them are going to make it. This week, I
purchased and planted two organic Roma tomato plants in their place, along with a dill and a parsley plant. Here’s hoping that these plants will do
well and produce abundant tomatoes and herbs!
An example of my failure to accommodate for adequate spacing needs for a
few of the different types of plants growing in my main garden area. As a newer gardener, I have been very
excited to grow as much as possible in my garden, but perhaps I haven’t adequately
planned for the necessary spacing.
Here is one of my two “Three Sisters” plantings that include corn, red
kidney beans, and pumpkins. As you
can see, the pumpkin plants have started to get pretty large now, and are
starting to crowd out the kale plant in the foreground, as well as one of my “Moon
and Stars” watermelon plants to the right. My plan has been to grow some of these plants vertically as
they mature, so we’ll see how everything does if I try that. Sadly, I may need to make some choices
and have to do some plant “sacrifices” soon.