The beginning of our gardening journey each year is met with hope and excitement. Like many gardeners most of my garden planning starts months before anything actually goes into the ground. I spend time pouring over seed catalogs, looking through previous year’s notes and scheming, um, I mean dreaming. The excitement builds as the time for planting gets closer and closer.
But what happens when things don’t quite go the way you thought they would. Because they don’t, you know. There are many variables to a gardening journey and some are just out of our control.
This photo was taken on March 27, 2012. My children spent the last week of March and the first couple of weeks of April picking mulberries that year. All the berries were red or black.
This is what that same tree looks like today (April 14). No berry picking for a few more weeks. We’re a little disappointed, after all we’re supposed to be picking mulberries every morning right now! But we’ve had an unseasonably cool spring and a late freeze that killed the early buds.
And you know what, that’s just how it goes some times. Sometimes you plant 72 tomato plants in order to have enough to preserve for the year and pill bugs eat your seedlings and then it gets hot really early and the tomatoes get attacked by leaffooted bugs and the tomatoes stop producing so you only get enough tomatoes for half the year. But that same season, you can plant 6 cantaloupe transplants that you bought from the feed store on a whim and get over 30 cantaloupes! Enough to enjoy to your heart’s content and even freeze some for smoothies.
These photos were taken on the same day in June 2013…
Enjoying the Blessings in a Gardening Journey
One year you might plant 9 yellow squash and 9 zucchini and harvest over 300lbs of summer squash (yes, people at church were calling me the “squash lady”) and the next year plant the exact same number and have most of them destroyed by vine borers. That year you’re happy that you’ve harvested even 15lbs of summer squash.
Gardening Journey Lessons from the Disappointments
Sometimes, we get so excited about what we want from our garden that we miss what it actually gives us. And when it doesn’t give us what we’ve planned, we get disappointed and believe that “it’s just not worth it.” But it is, because even if you have an epic fail of a garden, you’ve learned something. Observe and take notes. Then use that knowledge next year or next season. Make friends with a gardener in your area that can give you enouragement and will share their knowledge.
So, my encouragement to you this gardening season is to make your plans but hold them loosely. Be excited about the possibilities but not so excited that you’re disappointed with the reality. Gardening is a journey.
Angi Schneider is minister’s wife and homeschooling mom. She and her family have a small homestead along the Texas Gulf Coast and they share their adventures at SchneiderPeeps. Angi is also the author of The Gardening Notebook which is a printable notebook to help gardeners keep track of their their notes and plans.
Thanks so much to Janet for inviting me to share this gardening post with you. It’s an honor.
I hope you all enjoyed this post from Angi at Schneiderpeeps. I realized that I am sorely lacking in gardening inspiration on this page, so I asked Angi if she would help me out. And, being the kind friend that she is, she wrote up an amazing piece to help inspire us in our gardening journey. Please give Angi a warm welcome here, and stop over to her blog and follow along with her journey.**PS- I bought The Gardening Notebook and I love it. I have never kept notes before but this will be the start of my garden record keeping. I encourage you to take a look at The Gardening Notebook by Angi Schneider. May your gardening journey be fruitful!