Killing One of Everything

The other day, I was working in the front yard when my neighbor stopped to chat. We discussed her unhappy dogwood trees, and before she left she said, “How do you KNOW all this stuff?” I puffed up with pride and said, “Because I’ve killed nearly one of everything.”

It’s true. I’ve contributed to the demise of bulbs, sod lawns, trees, shrubs, you name it. I’ve planted sun plants in shade and shade plants in sun, watered too much and watered too little. I’ve over-pruned, under-fed, over-transplanted, and run over with the lawn mower. I’ve also killed stuff by precisely following package instructions.

I’m quite proud of my gardening résumé. The only way to learn about gardening is to plant stuff and see what happens – if you pay attention. The plants that don’t survive can teach you as much as (or even more than) the plants that thrive, and there are almost always second chances.


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