Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I believe that part of being a gardener is knowing which plants to give up on - and when. For me, an obvious example is the gloxinia. It's such a beautiful plant, but trying to keep one alive and getting it to bloom again once it's lost its florist glow is futile - for me, at least. I recently spoke to a group about my book, "Grace, Gratitude & Generosity" and as a thank you, they gave me a beautiful gloxinia in full bloom with lots of buds. It touched me because the gloxinia was one of my grandmother's favorite flowers, but she never had one. Now I know why. They are next to impossible for all but the most dedicated gloxinia fans to propagate, grow and get to re-bloom. I wanted to make mine last, so I researched what it takes. The answer? More than I'm willing to do. Time is a gardener's best friend - and enemy. As with most things in life, you have to choose were to place your priorities. If you have so many hours a day to garden, which would you rather do - spend lots of hours on one or two plants that likely won't survive, or spend those hours on plants you also love and know will produce with much less care. Obviously, there are exceptions. Many people prefer to specialize in tough, demanding plants. They are successful in their pursuit and enjoy the challenge. But for the average novice gardener, coaxing a lovely bed of blooms is reward enough. What do you think?