The Scenic Route: Day 13

Lessons From The Garden

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There’s a ladybug crawling around on the inside of my window, looking for a way out. I’m not sure how it got in here but this is a very old house, so they could have come through the spaces between the slate roof tiles, for all I know. 

It’s sunny today. I may have to go out in the garden and continue the cleanup from fall. 

It’s perfect time to plant lettuce and spinach and other cool weather crops. They don’t mind a wee bit of frost. Tomatoes on the other hand can be moody, sensitive divas. Especially heirloom tomatoes. And they don’t like it cold, or even cool, but lettuce thrives even with a little nip in the air.

One year I was so motivated for spring that I started tomato seeds in the basement and I grafted heirloom varieties to disease resistant root stock. That took a lot of diligence and care which resulted in high expectations. Despite my many precautions, many still got blight by seasons end. 

No matter how much you plan, things can fall apart. 


The groundhog who lives under the gardening shed doesn’t care if I spent weeks caring for seedlings, delicately grafting them, when he crawls over the fence and takes one toothy bite out of each tomato. He’s just like, cool, tomatoes, nom nom nom.

Gardening can be wonderful, colorful, and rewarding, but it can also be exhausting, disappointing, and heartbreaking. 

Like life.

It’s impossible to plan for every contingency, but it’s easy, almost expected, to justify trying. 

It can be exhausting (and simultaneously intoxicating) thinking of every possible outcome, or what you might think is every possible outcome, but failure is always an option.

Failure is a great teacher.

The key is to keep planting seeds. And be willing to learn.

“Failure is the condiment that makes success so delicious.” - Truman Capote

© 2014