Monday, May 5, 2014

Gardening is not Perfect

I love to garden.  For so many reasons I’m not sure I can remember them all.  Being in my garden gives me a sense of accomplishment and reward.  It’s not an easy task, and at times can turn very disappointing.  Most gardeners would love to tell you they have the perfect garden.  Many will be honest enough to tell you they don’t.

I gladly share pictures of my garden.  Why not?  I put a lot of work into it.  I visit it every morning and every evening.  I check for subtle changes, new growth and possible flowering buds for a promise of vegetation soon.  I’m proud of my work.  I’m pleased that I can feast from my harvest and enjoy the rewards.  What I don’t share are the flaws.  Yes, I will admit it, they are there.  I’m not ashamed of them.  They come with the territory. The yellowing leaf that can’t survive the environment, or has perhaps been over watered.  The potato leaf that has a few bug nips on it.  The pepper that I transplanted into the garden and didn’t quite handle the shock.

No, gardening is not perfect.  There are so many elements to battle.  They can become overwhelming if they are not dealt with on a daily basis.  The bugs, the weeds, the environment and animals.  There are sensible, safe, and friendly ways to protect your crops and handle these challenges.  Time and experience are the only safeguards you can count on when it comes to doing the right things.  Listen to Mother Nature and let her do the talking.

That yellow leaf is not a disaster.  It is however a warning sign.  A calling card you might say.  Mother Nature’s way of saying “hey I need some help here”.  You may not always have the answer right off.  You may need to try a few different approaches.  A little less water? A little more shade?  If one technique doesn’t fix the problem don’t give up.  It’s your best tool.  The three “P’s” of gardening.  Persistence, patience and practice.

No, gardening is not perfect always.  But ya know what is?  Watching a young seedling mature into a full grown productive crop.  Seeing the first buds of peas sprout from the vine. Digging a basket of new potatoes and picking the first cucumber.  A green bean and squash casserole fresh from the garden.  Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts steamed on the grill right beside the Chicken Breast.  To me that is about as perfect as it gets.