Gardening Failures

If anything in life teaches you to deal with failure, it’s gardening. Garden plants are delicate, tasty, and stressed. I’ve had good luck lately; the rosemary, fennel, sage, mint, garlic and lavender I put in recently are all thriving.

It is kind of cheating to say that those plants bode my gardening success. Herbs are the toughest members of the garden plant family. Since they don’t expend most of their energy producing huge fruit or even flowering much, herbs (I pronounce the “H” in herbs, by the way) thrive in a way vegetables and fruit often don’t.

I want to make a big, deep analogy about how non-creative types are less delicate than those of us who produce so much artwork effort. Maybe today I won’t indulge in my prejudices, since this post is about perserverance and surviving failure…but I am leaving this paragraph in this blog.

I planted beautiful tangerine colored pansies the week of Thanksgiving, in a flowerpot in our woods. I checked on them this weekend; all of them had been dug up and 3 of them tossed out of the pot. Damn squirrels. I put them back in the soil but will probably move them to the garden by the house. Or maybe I’ll tie fencing over the pot. Who knew squirrels got fussy about pansies? Stupid little tree rats.

I planted lettuce seeds in the kitchen garden. The cat used the area as her new toilet. Now I can only plant flowers there. I planted more lettuce seeds around the garlic; the garlic sprouted ahead of season and there’s no sign of lettuce.

I want to put in sweet potatoes this spring, and build a trellis for squash and tomato vines. I’m fairly sure, based on past behavior, that I will half-ass the trellis and it will fall down. And now I will blame my ADHD for the failure of a project that I haven’t even begun, except to imagine it. But oh, you should see how it looks in my mind!

I’d like to say I’m optimistic and cheerfully step up to try, try again. I’d like to smile big at the camera, shrug off these failures and proclaim tomorrow to be another day. Here we go:

OK! I’M GOING TO TRY THIS AGAIN! TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY! HERE WE GO!

That’s it – that’s optimism. Like high heeled shoes and false eyelashes, my optimism looks a lot better than it feels. Oddly, optimism works just fine without genuine enthusiasm.

I am collecting used, biodegradeable coffee cups from the trash bin at work. I plan to use them as planters for the persimmon seeds I collected this year, and put baby persimmon trees all over our woods come spring time. Isn’t that a great idea? You are welcome to start a betting pool on whether or not that happens or if I just barely manage to score the seeds to germinate and fling them by handsful out into the woods while yelling, “GOOD LUCK, GROW BIG FOR ME!”

In a similar vein, I wanted to join NaNoWriMo this year, as I’ve wanted to do for the past 10 years. I managed to write 7 blogs that month, 4 of them in the first week. But hey! That’s more than I managed to write in May, June and July this year. Go me!

I’m going to buy a living tree for Yule this year. I don’t know where I’ll plant it after the season is over, but I’m sure it’ll do fine. Along with the 50 goji berry shrubs I have seeds for, and the album’s worth of songs I’ve been meaning to make a demo recording of for the past 4 years.

2016 is another year. I’m going to try this all again.

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