Garden Learnings

We don’t make mistakes.  We just have ‘learnings’.       Anne Wilson Schaef

garden woes

Looking at the garden now, I remember its humble and hopeful beginning.  Just home from the Garden Expo, I had plans and I had seeds.  The long delay in planting due to rain meant the seeds made their way into the ground later than suggested on the backs of the seed packets.  Nevertheless, I was optimistic.  No hurry, little seeds.  Take your time.


My eagerness to squeeze in as much produce as possible into this 8 X 4 space was exaggerated and against wise gardening.  Why did I ever think cucumbers would be a great idea?  I knew better.  They were like the squash family, taking over more than their share of the turf.  I blame my exuberance, fed by the Garden Expo.


What I cannot blame on anyone but myself, is why I planted everything so close together.  I knew carrots, radishes, lettuce, spinach and kale needed space to grow.  Instead, I threw whole packets of seeds into thin four foot lines.

It was the kale that surprised me.

If I had read the instructions on the packets . . .

I probably would have ignored them anyway, but WOW.  No clue that kale could grow so large.  Its leaves hid the struggling carrot and radish greens gasping for light. “Me first,” the dominant kale seemed to say.


We managed to have just enough lettuce, spinach, and kale for a few salads.  Oh, did I mention the peas?  Did they grow that tall last year?  They were winning the competition of space with the tomato plants.  The poor peppers never made a showing.  And then those cucumbers, crowding everything with their tendrils of flowering potential.


Are you beginning to see this garden of mine?  I have supported a war zone in my backyard.  Recently, I took responsibility and mercy on the struggling little plants.  I intervened. Out came the kale and peas that had had their time in the limelight. By now, the cucumbers were doing so incredibly well, I said to myself, “Let’s run with this and see where they go.”


Today I look at my little raised bed garden in the backyard and sigh.   The garden is a disaster and I have thrown in the towel on 2017 . Looking ahead to next year, I have two promises to self. No cucumbers and to each little seed I plant, room to grow.  Until then, the tomatoes are looking rather optimistic.  I pray that I have at least one BLT in my future.

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