Find me in my garden, and you’ll discover my hands covered in dirt, my toes dipped in mud, and my mind full of thoughts. There’s really nothing that compares to the thinking time that comes from time spent in nature, and recently, I’ve found myself thinking one resounding thought: “Tending to a garden is akin to living life.”
Hear me out. If we want to see results, we need to put in consistent effort. If we want something to thrive, we need to put it in the right environment. And sometimes, no matter how hard we try and how much we think we know, we fail.
Case in point? My garden this season. Yes, there have been some great harvests.
Tomatoes, swiss chard and cucumbers: they’ve been in abundance. But I’ve also had some fails. You’d think I’d have every tool in the kit to guarantee a thriving veggie garden: a mom who dedicated her career to the craft, a deep passion for it, and the luxury of space to map out my planting. But even so – just like life – sometimes, things don’t go to plan.
In the spirit of practicing what I preach, I thought I’d share some of my garden fails from this past season with you. Not only to laugh, but to remind all of us (me included) that perfection simply doesn’t exist.
Look, I’m sure that somewhere there’s a Michelin starred restaurant serving up these micro carrots, but these teeny bulbs were not what I had in mind. I forgot to thin them out after seeding them, so they all ended up tiny and couldn’t grow to full size. Lesson learned!
The bugs absolutely decimated my kale this season. There weren’t any kale-rich salads in my home as a result, but at least the insects got their greens.
Turns out I was more ambitious than I thought at the start of the season, as I completely forgot that I’d planted these cranberry beans. I accidentally picked a ton when they were green, instead of waiting until they were red. They could have been so satisfying! But alas, not for me this year.
My luffa plant was truly thriving (check out those leaves), but it didn’t start flowering until early September. So unfortunately it won’t have enough time to produce the actual luffa before the weather gets too cold. I’ll be enjoying gazing at the leaves regardless!
As with everything in life, these failures can be disappointing. But they can also be the catalyst for change and learning. I know what I’ll be doing (and what I won’t be doing) next year. And while there will inevitably be new challenges and failures, I’m going to embrace them. After all, that’s exactly what gardening – and life – is all about.