Have you ever thought about giving up gardening?

tatianathumbMarch 7, 2007

I really liked how this article was not afraid to admit how tough gardening can be. I liked how she was not remorseful about all her errors in the garden, year after year.


I have tried to plant fruit trees for years, and I never get them to produce any edible fruit! Have you ever thought about just admitting you don't have a green thumb?

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The subject on this posting almost made me laugh out loud!

I grew up on a small farm in the '70s. One of 9 children. We had a huge garden and did A LOT of homecanning. I can remember HAVING to pick all of our produce by hand. How we HATED picking berries! All of us agreed we would NEVER have our own gardens and home can anything!

LOL, now we are all grown with children of our own....and a garden of our own....and exchange produce and canning recipes! ;)

All of us agree, Gardening is great therapy!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 7:53AM
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I agree, gardening is fun and practically free. (As far as hobbies go anyway). And there are so many things to do with even a small area like I have. I'm in my fifth year of city gardening. Cut back? Maybe soon but give it up? Nope.

New challenge this year: Learn verticle gardening and finish creating that hill with the rocks and stream in a tight space.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 1:54AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

I didn't think about it but old age pretty much imposed it upon me. I am mostly limited to instructing a landscaper. I went out to water some roses this morning and the faucet lost a washer so I have to call someone. Getting someone to fix things is rather more a burden than cutting back on doing annuals on hands and knees.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 2:17PM
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no_regrets(SoCal Sunset 23)

Absolutely, but then, I've thought about giving up sugar too. Not gonna happen ;-)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 1:54PM
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The more I think about it the more I plant... it's like a disease.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 3:38PM
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usafarmer(z5 MA)

I've prayed to God for help to give up gardening. I don't like all the problems gardening brings up. I like the physical part, shoveling, etc., its all the thinking that I think is crazy-making, even though there's learning to be had there. I am learning timing and sequencing, areas that are naturally hard for me to acquire.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 7:56PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Right after every drought,every flood,every hurricane,every invasion of insects and fungus. snails Right after the city took out my orange trees the gas co, dug up half my yard, right after a sewr line snaped and dug up the other half.
The I get a perfect orchid or water lily or the crape myrtle flowers outrageously without getting ripped by rain.
Or the daylily flowers when it was supposed to die.
Then i think gee this is really fun and really easy lol gary

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 5:46PM
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valentinetbear(z6 PA)

Ummm, went about this the wrong way! Normal folks pick up gardening as a hobby, well, ummm, when they are normal! (Oh, "normal" in this sense means "able-bodied." I don't think I've ever been truly normal! LOL)

Now back when I was "normal," we had ten tomato plants, and a patch of grass for our cat to eat, so he could throw up in our house. (Now, you understand, why I'm pretty sure I was never normal. LOL) We live in the city, and have concrete for our 16' X 16' backyard, so even the grass was in a container.

Then I became disabled, and the garden kept getting bigger and bigger! I'm close to tears in planting season, both because I cannot get out there as often as I want/need and because I do too much when I do get out there, causing extra pain. Do I ever want to give up? Every single spring, when I'm surrounded by seedlings and young plants that cannot wait for me to feel good enough to plant them! Oh, and occasionally when a grasshopper the size of a minivan pops out of my lamb's ear while I'm watering it. (I'm scared to death of bugs. Stupid hobby to pick up with that phobia, huh? Really bad, since I also compost in a container, and since there is no real ground, only bugs digest the dead vegetation! LOL)

I'm learning to keep that thought of quitting in my head (usually), because hubby, who is also disabled, keeps telling me that I should give it up! Well, eventually I'll get our garden pictures up online to prove that I've gone too far this year - but too far in a good way! It's drop-dead gorgeous out there now (now that it's too hot to stay out long. LOL)

With three years of intense gardening experience now (tomato plants and grass never really counted) I have some suggestions for those who want to quit, and those who have become disabled, so think they have to quit -- DON'T YOU DARE!

It will leave a hole in your soul! Imagine life without the smell of fresh dug soil, or peaking at that bud every day for a week, until it becomes a flower, or how the leaves all perk up after a summer rain, or nothing but store bought produce and fruit! It's like breaking the right leg of a race car driver, or a firefighter without a hose -- doable, but just so against the grain of who we are! Here's some practical suggestions on how to keep on gardening:

1. There is no such thing as a brown thumb! There is just knowledge and lack of knowledge. I've killed two air plants in my life! I used to walk by plants in stores and hear them cry, "Oh Lawd, we'll be good! Just don't let HER take us home!" Now, I've got three pumpkins growing and several stalks of popcorn. (Remember, I'm growing in containers, and have read that you CANNOT grow regular pumpkins in containers. Lucky for me, I read that when the pumpkin vines were 4 feet long, and I don't have the heart to kill real plants. Weeds aren't real plants usually! LOL)

My secret? I've spent the last three years reading books about container gardening, plants for my section of the country, and good ole fashion common garden knowledge. Of course, I still run to this board, because part of my disability is short term memory loss, so I forget more then I remember! LOL

2.) Disability does not mean giving up gardening -- it means refiguring it out! Ended up meeting many disabled gardeners online, and there has been common threads for how to keep gardening -- get help (kids, grandkids, neighborhood kids all tend to enjoy helping for free, if you make it fun and/or rewarding for them, spouses and really good friends will help occasionally, or right along side of you, once they get hooked, too) and think "containers."

Most disable folks I've met used to be abled, so they have these mongo gardens, or used to have plants all around their little properties. Now, they all use containers and squish all the containers around a small patio, on a small balcony, just by the back door, or, worse comes to worse, right by a nice sunny window indoors! (Regular fluorescent bulbs work as easily as gro-lights, but are much cheaper, if you have no sunny window.) Instead of indeterminate tomatoes, think grape or cherry determinates. (Our plum tomatoes look like regular tomatoes.) Instead of climbing roses, think minatures, or small varieties that can survive easily in a small to medium size container. Instead of huge sunflowers, think Teddy Bear sunflowers!

And, most importantly, remember this is FUN, not a chore. Heck, half of the stuff I've sown was sown about 4-8 weeks after the last frost! So what? Either I'll see moonflowers sometime this year or I'll learn they really do need to be planted sooner. LOL I never did get everything planted that I wanted! Good thing! No more room! LOL

3.) The garden over whelms you, because you're constantly thinking about it?! Well, in the famous words of Bob Newhart, "then just stop it!!!" LOL Seriously, there is a way to stop being absorbed constantly with what we want done, what has to be done, and what order it needs to be done. It's the same solution busy executives do, except they usually get to just dictate to a secretary. LOL Write it down!

Use lists to figure out what you want done and where. Use other lists for what has to be done NOW and in what order, AND use a diary to keep track of when you planted what, so you don't have to wonder the following month if that tomato plant is growing on time, or got a late start. And then, don't forget to cross out stuff that really doesn't have to be done at all! Deadheading roses! Son of a gun -- been busy at it for four years now! Know what happens if you don't? You get rosehips! Oh the horrors! LOL Now I deadhead the rose only when I want to make a nice fruit salad with rose petals in them. (Yup, the petals are edible, and softly sweet, like they smell and feel. I know! I've read it some where. LOL)

It is hard for me to believe that any gardener has never considered giving it up at some point (usually in planting season, less likely in harvesting season. LOL) BUT we are gardeners because it is fun! And, it isn't just fun, because everything turned out so perfectly.

I love showing off all three pumpkins! The first one is growing through a chainlink fence. (I've named him Quasimoto, because he is quite deformed, and yet determined to keep growing! LOL) My second one is hard to see, since it's being covered by over grown flowers now. (I know I "should" trim them back, but that's on my list of "don't have to!" LOL) My third one is only about the size of a small squash, and FINALLY growing in a container that has some space for her for a while.

While they are growing, I've been crocheting a pumpkin hammock! I started it for fear Quasimoto was going to fall out of the chainlink fence, but I will have to cut him out! Now, I'm fairly certain that it will be used for the third one, so it doesn't crowd out my new purple sage! Then again, that bump under the pumpkin flower in the alleyway, might need it more, if it becomes my fourth pumpkin! If none of them need it, it will be a good place to store my stuffed animals. (What you thought this abnomral woman only gardens for fun?! LOL)

Oh come on now! Tell me you don't have any silly things happening in your garden! If you don't, well, yeesh, you need more fun! LOL

Next winter, why you're busy trying to figure out how to have more fun -- we'll be eating home-grown popcorn! Have to give an ear to my next door neighbor's granddaughter. She's five and doesn't think popcorn is grown. LOL

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 6:11AM
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Hmmm interesting stuff...The link has a ton of additional cool gardening stories. Thanks for the ideas!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 2:26PM
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valentinebear- i love what you wrote- keep on digging. I understand about your cat as my dog loves to eat my cilantro I suppose for her tummy so I grow a pot just for her.

I love gardening and it does fill my soul.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 6:11PM
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