The Same Boat

failuresOne of the joys of blogging has been the sharing of successes and failures with other bloggers and the realisation that we are all in the same boat, bobbing about on the sea of uncertainty that gardening is, reliant on the vagaries of the weather and the reliability of seeds and plants amongst other things. When we post pictures of our nicotiana which germinated brilliantly (unlike last year when it didn’t germinate at all) but then sits and sulks for the rest of the season and shows no intention of producing any flowers, and of our single spindly cosmos which HAS flowered, but only a few tiny flowers that have barely opened – well, when this happens I haven’t yet come across any blogger who has been called incompetent or a failure. We get words of encouragement, tales of similar failures, suggestions for future years, but no implication that these sorry situations are down to the gardener. Gardening magazines tend to show perfection, or aim at perfection, but our blogging community seems to recognise that we are human and are gardening in an imperfect world – we can thus admit to our failures without fear of reprisal.

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23 Responses to The Same Boat

  1. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Ha ha, I’m sure all of us can empathise with you on this one. I’ve had similar years with the Cosmos (last year), or often they grow into cosmos ‘trees’ but don’t bloom into well into October after teasing me for months.
    I’ve been lucky with Nicotiana; I had one pop up this year that I didn’t even sow, came from a plant I had last year?? A few years ago I had a Nicotiana which was taller than I am??!!! It was in the newly created ‘Aster’ border and obviously loved the soil improver, composts etc! Now, that was crazy.

  2. Christina says:

    Sounds familiar to me; I do think it is important to be honest with failures as well as successes!

  3. Amen. Gardening is a journey and you learn something at every turn and at all times you must maintain a sense of humor. πŸ™‚

  4. Anna B says:

    I love your post! So true, nature can be really unpredictable and that includes plants and edible plants. Just when I think I have a plant sussed it lets me down! It’s the way to learn though and the community of garden bloggers is brilliant. Adam’s mum always says she likes gardeners, thinks they’re kind sharing people. I’d agree. One of the best bits about blogging is the online community, everyone’s the same online as in the garden! πŸ™‚

  5. sueturner31 says:

    All quite true ,we learn more by our failures than ever we could from just reading a book etc…

  6. Great post! Loved this line: ” bobbing about on the sea of uncertainty that gardening is, reliant on the vagaries of the weather and the reliability of seeds and plants amongst other things.”

  7. so true Cathy, it’s those books and magazines and ‘expert’ gardeners that had me fooled for years, now I can ‘read between the lines’ πŸ™‚ Frances

  8. Annette says:

    Well said, Cathy and Frances! And that’s why I often get frustrated reading garden magazines and books which only show the perfect side of things and we all know it’s not like this. But I never tire of reading blogs like yours – sort of comforting to know that we all struggle with one thing or another πŸ˜‰

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette – I had not really thought of it that way until I came to write the post and realised why the support from other bloggers is so very different from that in magazines and books.

  9. croftgarden says:

    Don’t dwell on the failures, you’ve had some stunning plants in your garden this year. So celebrate your triumphs and we’ll share your disappointments. Don’t worry I’ll keep your feet on the ground with the odd acerbic asides.

  10. Pauline says:

    We all have failures along with the successes, so we are all learning all the time, no one knows it all! It’s good to know that there are people out there who can help with their own experiences of certain plants and that we can learn from each other.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, it is all very supportive as we are not made to feel small by those with more knowledge or a wider experience – just that everyone’s knowledge and experience is different.

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