Eventually I began to date a man with a house – and with the house came land. My wonderful boyfriend, who became my wonderful husband, had a quaint old farmhouse with ancient gardens. I immediately set to work "fixing" them, though I had no experience. It wasn’t even my place, but he let me play. I pulled out two ancient, gnarly grape vines because they "looked awful." I tore up an heirloom, white hollyhock that had probably been planted during the Depression. And I tore out a pink bush rose and threw it in the compost! What was I thinking? Fortunately it proved stronger and smarter than I, and when it bloomed the next year, in that heap, I realized my folly and it remains in a place of honor today.
But I fell for the big, glossy pictures and flashy headlines in the slick flower catalogs. "New and hybrid! Largest blooms! Brightest colors!" I bought iris hybrids whose heads were so huge that they fell over, and whose rhizomes were so large that they only bloomed two years before they had to be divided. Most died out within a couple years. Then I ordered a dozen of the most beautiful tea roses (including "the first true blue rose" which was actually lavender), all of which developed raging black spot and died slow, painful, ugly deaths over the next few years (starting with the "blue"). I fell for the flashy and the new, trying to force nature to do what it did not want to do.
Sigh. Well, we all must make mistakes in order to grow, sometimes painful mistakes (I still mourn that hollyhock!) But grow I have, as have my gardens! My mistakes are fewer now, but if I didn’t make any, it would mean I had stopped trying new things! I hope my blog and the other parts of this website will inspire new gardeners, encourage current gardeners, and give glory to the beautiful world God has made, and the great gift He gave us to be able to put our hands in dirt!
"And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good." Genesis 1:31