Gardening combines creativity and passion for plants

October 01, 2012 02:48 pm

Gardening can most frequently be described as an art, not a true science. 

And while science plays an especially important role in the development of new and interesting varieties and colors of plant species, it’s our practice of art in the garden that most of our learning comes from. 

What didn’t do well in a certain spot may shine and thrive if moved, what gave you too much of to eat or even give away can be planted less dense, and help you decide what you certainly don’t want, or do want, to grow next year.  

That isn’t science, it’s creativity, gardening passion and experience rolled into one. It’s also our mistakes that make us better gardeners.

Last year I neglected to deadhead one particular, albeit beautiful, plant prior to winter. This season it has blessed me with about a thousand of its progeny in my flower bed. I am not amused. 

I have spent untold hours pulling and cutting and hoeing them out, and regret my lazy attitude last fall. What would have then taken less than five minutes has now grown into a full-time project. I regret my error.

So the recommendation this week is that if you haven’t done your homework and learned the intricacies of what you are growing, you may receive some unwelcome surprises, but some pleasant ones as well.

I’ve learned the true meaning of catchphrases through years of perusing gardening catalogs and books. For instance, “thrives in a sunny spot” means you will probably never get rid of it, “quickly covers the ground to form a nice mat” means it will spread like wind-driven wildfire, choke everything in its path and be impossible to eradicate, and “self-sows where happy”, my personal favorite, has just got to be self-explanatory! I definitely had one ridiculously happy plant last season!

So with our fall temperatures arriving, with our gardens at full tilt for production, and with seed catalogs seeming to appear overnight in the mail, carefully weigh your successes and failures this year.

I know several readers are discouraged that locally purchased huckleberries aren’t thriving and producing fruit yet. Huckleberry plants take a least one growing season to establish, and then fruit is produced next year on the stems that were grown this year, or second-year wood. 

It’s just one of those plants you have to be patient with, especially difficult when you are doing everything right but not getting any fruit. Don’t worry, the berries will grow, just not this season!

I hear from so many of you that are new to gardening this year just how well your endeavors have developed, and how easy it was to grow your own food, and how wonderful it tastes. 

That’s what we do, we gardeners, we watch the earth deliver us it’s bounty, and our tri-county area has some wonderful growing opportunities. 

Until next time, enjoy your fall garden!