Can you really fail at gardening?

>> Sunday, March 23, 2008

An old adage I recently remembered about gardening is: first year sleeps, second year creeps & third year leaps.

As my perennial garden awakens from its first year sleep, anticipation takes center stage. Did I protect it well enough from the many mood swings of our north-central Utah winter?

April 20, 2007 is considered the birth date for my perennial garden, so according to this dictum this garden is about to wake up and begin crawling. Sort of anti-climatic since I want so much to see what it will look like in full bloom.

Several plants are beginning to show some sign of survival such as this Chrysanthemum Shasta Daisy Alaska.

And these Crocus.

Some, like this Dianthus Agatha, never lost their foliage, much to my surprise.

And still others, like this Nepeta Walker's Low, are a little slower to show any signs of life at all.

Having almost all of my experience in vegetables, and therefore starting each year anew from seeds, it never ceases to amaze me how roots can sit just below the soil’s surface mere inches from the frozen snow above and retain the energy necessary to continue their life cycle.

You see, I am no stranger to loss when it comes to growing flowers and herbs. And the memory of those disappointments won’t go away. Two one-year-old Butterfly Bushes that couldn’t withstand my overzealous trimming one spring, this really broke my heart. Two Clematis, one Niobe and one Hania, that couldn’t take the overly hot location I placed them in. One Hydrangea Parzifal, a bigleaf type having very large mophead blooms with what I expected to be a deeper shade of blue due to our alkaline soil. It was planted in a location that turned out to be a bit too sunny and dry. Borage, Spirea, Alyssum, Armeria, Astilbe, Basil, Echinacea, Heuchera, Hosta, Impatiens and Viburnum. All cut down in their prime due to my misunderstanding of what they could tolerate.

So if by loosing I am supposed to learn, then I must have learned a lot. The answer to whether or not these lessons will take hold will not be fully known until the end of this year. More anticipation.

I am not discouraged however, for there will be many opportunities to succeed or fail again. And again.

The thought occurred to me that nature was trying to teach me about what will grow here. I only need pay attention and try not to force it. Nature always wins in the end and the most beautiful lesson of all is that even when I fail it becomes a lesson.


Daisy March 28, 2008 at 12:05 PM  

I'm about to enter my first year of sleeping with my perennials... Starting them from seed which means I might not get results for a few years. I may have to check back to this post for a pep talk later. It's tough, but I really want to leap later so I'm going to stick with it!

Greg W March 29, 2008 at 5:02 AM  

Welcome Daisy,
Waiting can be such a drag, but definitely worth it. I just looked through your blog and it looks pretty interesting. I like the down to earth feel of it.

Looking forward to following your progress. Hang in there. I need the occasional pep talk too.

Good luck and good gardening.

© 2007 -2011 - Utah Valley Gardens - All photos and content copyrighted by Utah Valley Gardens unless otherwise attributed. The use of photographs posted on this site without permission is forbidden and is protected by copyright law, as is all original text.

Blogger templates made by

Back to TOP