Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Finding Joy during a Summer of Failure

 My moodiness of late is directly linked to the state of my gardens. I mean my veggie beds...my efforts to feed myself & my hubby. This summer has shown me that I seriously lack certain adaptable skills in order to deal with variations in Mother Nature's choice of weather. It's cool, mostly cloudy & more damp than previous years. 

But I can't be that moody gardener. No one wants to hang around a moody gardener - someone who moans about the pathetic peas, or the lack of beans or the failure of carrots, beets, kale (& the list goes on) to sprout. 

I've begun a journey to re-locate my sense of Peace & Joy in my gardens. Yesterday it started with the flowers. Specifically my daylilies. 

Did you know that daylilies are edible? I just might have to try that tonight!!


Heavy Petal said...

I hear ya about the moodiness! This weather - and lack of summer - is definitely getting me down. At least the greens are doing well! It's the neverending spring of 2011 ;)

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Stunning daylilies! They are one of my favourites!

To be honest, I don't grow that many veggies just for food. I just don't find ordinary eating veggies that interesting. I grow lots of spinach, a few peas, onions and garlic and some yellow wax beans just for eating, but that's about it. I don't grow any cole crops (brassicas). I've tried them all in the past and not had good luck with them. Too many cabbage worms and we only eat broccoli anyway. The peas never seem to get shelled, so I only grow a few to eat fresh in salads. Hubby only likes iceburg lettuce in a head, which I have not been able to achieve, so I don't grow that either.

I decided a long time ago to focus on growing what is enjoyable and what does well. I grow rare things striclty for the seed, like heirloom tomatoes that no one else has, blue corn, Hopi black squash, lemon cukes and so forth and we do eat those, but I don't grow them just for food.

I grow a lot of things for wine. Half of my gardens are taken up with things for wine making.

I grow herbs. Lots and lots of herbs for medicinal use and cooking. Those are fun!

I grow a LOT of flowers! (I'm an obsessed flower hoarder.)

Gardening should be enjoyable, not a chore. I have cut way back on the number of veggies that I grow so I can spend more time and energy growing the things I think are fun.

You know, I find it takes time to learn how to grow the individual things. If I plant too many new things at one time, then I cannot focus enough time on each one to learn what I need to know to grow them well. I only add one or two new things each season and pay attention to that item, researching it as it grows, so I learn how to grow it. If it is something I really want, I try each year, again and again until I conquer that item. Sometime I give up entirely or put it on hold until another year when I have more time, like the luffahs.

Every gardener has failures. The blue corn I had such high hopes for was trampled by deer earlier this season. If I get one or two whole cobs out of it, I'll be lucky. I have never been able to successfully grow corn anyway but I haven't cared much about the corn in the past, but I really want that blue corn for grinding and for seed! I will prevail with the blue next year!

I didn't have one single tomato last year that did not have BER. This year they are doing wonderfully well.

Don't get discouraged! There is always next year and you do have great daylilies! :-)

Michelle's Green Thumb said...

Sheryl - I love your comments. Brings a lot into perspective & it's actually where I'm starting to move to. I'm 'rewriting' my gardening book for next year & have a rather large list of projects to start in September.

Today I'm actually heading out to start my berry harvest - one that will last for the next 6 to 8 weeks.

I'm developing a greater appreciation for flowers & am learning to laugh a bit more than sigh & moan. Making mistakes is the easy part. Remembering the lessons I've learned from those mistakes is the hard part!!

thanks for your support!