Learning from Gardening

You can learn a lot by keeping a garden: persistence, humility, hard work, accomplishment, utter failure, how to manage control and the complete lack of it, and a little about relationships.

Most gardeners form some sort of bond with any long term garden inhabitants. I know I do. So I cringed as my blueberries and raspberries suffered through rebuilding our garden and the shock of being transplanted.

After transplanting, they've all lost a little life. And one of my blueberry plants looks like it's barely holding on. I won't let it make any berries this year (so it can develop it's roots and branches again) but it may take 2 or 3 years to get back to it's former glory.

Which brings me to the lesson about relationships.... When do you say enough is enough? 

For the past few years, my blueberries have been stellar performers. Since they can last 20-50 years, we had planned to keep them forever. But now they're damaged. They aren't giving me what I want. And I'm not feeling patient about waiting for them to change. To get better....

In 4 or 5 years, they might be perfect. But in the meantime, I can buy a whole new plant - bustling in newness - for under $20 and have 4 solid years of berries before the old plant gets back in gear.

Should I throw in the towel and scrap the plants I have? The smart gardener would say "yes." The patient, caring gardener would say "no."

In the past, I've repaired my damaged plants with electrical tape, moved them to new homes, or just let them grow in all their ugliness.

But now, I don't know. I've recently pulled some of the "weeds" out of my personal life and I think I should do the same in the garden. Should you really keep someone in your life just because you thought you always would?

Should you throw them out when they become damaged? In a lot of ways, plants and people are not the same. But it gives you something to think about.

In my opinion, you should always pick out the weeds and never give it a second thought. But your really good plants - the ones you've worked hard to establish - maybe they should be given a little patience and TLC. You never know - they just may become the best plants you've ever had.

Then again...you may waste years of your life trying to mend something that's forever broken. You never know.


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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!


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