By: Gary Garner Sr.
Gardner’s mostly are simple, positive, happy people. We generally try to make the world a better place. Yet, all too many times, in our eagerness to do so we fall a little on the crazy side.
I will likely be taken to task for that remark. Think about it, how can you say otherwise when bright people suspend disbelief and repeat the delusion that this time might be different. Why do we think we will succeed this time when we have failed many times before? As a group gardeners are and probably will continue to be suckers. We will continue to be entrapped by wishful thinking. As the old saying goes the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.
The evidence proves I am not wrong. Eager to work the soil we will plant tomatoes four to six weeks prior to the last frost. Many times, the same person will plant twice before that last frost date. Look around at all the shade loving perennials perishing in hot sun. Azaleas planted in full sun with rock used as a ground cover rather than shredded bark. Pity the poor plants.
Don’t let this discourage you from trying a new plant or new idea… trial and error is the best way to learn what does and doesn’t work in your garden and landscape. No two holes and no two yards are the same. Just because it is growing in your neighbor’s yard doesn’t mean it will do well in yours. All gardeners lose plants from time to time – gardening is a never-ending learning process!
I think about the plants bought because of articles or pretty pictures in Southern Living or Better Homes and Gardens. Does anyone ever think to look at what climate zone the plants are suited for? I guess all of us have room for just one more tree or large shrub. Don’t you just love it when a shrub that might reach ten feet in height is planted under a picture window that’s two foot off the ground. We then delude ourselves into thinking we can keep the plant pruned so it won’t block our view.
Am I being too hard on myself and other gardeners? I don’t think so. Is there anyone reading this that hasn’t disregarded height and width estimates on a plant tag. Remember that plant tag is just an estimate. The size can easily vary several feet from the tag. A plant in Virginia may have an estimate of six feet. In California the same plant might reach twice that height. Before I get accused of talking about others let me say I have been there and done that.
We all think we can beat Mother Nature. Believe me we cannot. Plants have requirements that must be met to perform properly. Some like cold, some like heat. Some like shade, some like sun. Just because a plant is pretty or because Grandma had one is not a reason to buy a particular plant.
Let’s not be too hard on ourselves, a little wishful thinking is not a bad thing. Sometimes it costs us a little extra money, but so what. Sometimes it takes extra work and I have seen people cry over a dead plant. We strike out occasionally. Its not the end of the world.
Gardening should be about having fun. The thing is to remain hopeful and keep trying. But let’s not deceive ourselves. So, we kill a few annuals and perennials. The heat from the rock burns the roots off the azaleas. We can’t see out the picture window. Why worry, Gary’s Garden Center has the cure for all these woes. We Help You Grow!