Standing by a spectacular bed of lilies near his front door, a friend said “This year my garden is finally everything I want it to be.”
What an enviable satisfaction! Most of us have not achieved it, but still, we find pleasure among our imperfect but glorious plantings of Shasta daisies, honeysuckle, hydrangeas, snapdragons, crocosmia and whatever else is blooming now.
The glory of summer is here, and birds, bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are celebrating along with us. In every garden, there’s a party going on from dawn to dusk.
As the hosts of these garden parties, we can pour ourselves a glass of whatever pairs well with flowers, and sit down and enjoy the revelry.
But while we’re doing that, most of us are inevitably thinking about what we might do differently or better next year, so that we too, can say what my friend said.
With annuals, the more common way to get full, bushy plants and lots of flowers is to pinch out the tops of individual plants when they’re young to promote the growth of side branches.
These underwire bras for plants need to be installed early, and they often look dorky until plants grow into them. If you have a solution to this problem, the world wants to hear about it.
These questions should be asked and answered without triggering feelings of failure or inadequacy; they are merely fodder for thought about our own evolution as gardeners, our shifting tastes, and the growing habits of our plants.
Another question we all should ask ourselves is whether we’re overcommitted, and endlessly frustrated because we can’t keep up. Most of us work, have family obligations and other commitments. We may want to simplify our gardens.
Or, given that the average American spends two hours and six minutes per day on social media, we may want to reconsider how we spend our time.
If the average American spent two hours and six minutes per day gardening, in summer our communities would be idylls of beauty and fragrance, and more of us would be able to say our gardens are everything we want them to be.
Jill Severn writes from her home in Olympia, where she grows vegetables, flowers, and a small flock of chickens. She loves conversation among gardeners. Start one by emailing her at jill@theJOLTnews.com