I read a piece that Tony Avent of Plant Delights Nursery wrote a few years ago about some people being “controlling” gardeners while others are “gambling” gardeners. I really thought it was spot on, and I can say I’ve worked with both types.
Of course, many of us gamble each year, planting marginally hardy plants that have done fine with our mild winters of past years. Boy, can some winters give us a whammy though!
I really liked this comment from Tony Avent, “Controlling folks want everything to work out just as the gardening books say, and struggle when plants don’t do exactly that, while the gamblers take a chance, try new things and hope for the best.
For the gamblers if things don’t work out quite as expected, it’s an opportunity for something new, rather than a failure. Personally, I like the gamblers approach to gardening much better, and think it causes a lot less anxiety! So, what’s the point? The point is to relax and enjoy gardening, remembering that nature is always in charge.
Life and death in the garden are no different than life and death outside the garden. Our options are to dwell on the sadness of death or celebrate the life that passed and embrace the next life that lies ahead.”
With the beginning of a new planting season, my personal outlook is going to be that of looking on my gardening efforts as a joy and an opportunity to not only beautify my landscape and surroundings but to nourish my soul as well; and, if there are failures, that will be part and parcel of the process. Some of my best plant combinations have been happy accidents!
The pictures here are of my garden – plants are allowed to self seed, failures are yanked out, and plants that strike my fancy are tucked in here and there where I think they might look good. It wouldn’t make anyone’s list of a perfectly designed space, but it’s mine and that’s how you should treat yours too.
Above all, whatever the outcome of your garden, take time to appreciate the life you bring into it…a butterfly on a zinnia bloom, a hummingbird hovering over a salvia, and bees doing their important work with them of pollinating your flowers and vegetables.
My ultimate hope is that many of you adopt the gambler attitude. It doesn’t have to be the high roller, high stakes approach, but try to roll with the plant punches, knowing they’ll come, and treat your gardening efforts as what they should be – a relaxing, and therapeutic addition to your daily schedule rather than a chore that’s only done on the weekends.
Posted by Kris Blevons