Let Yourself Hope

The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives.

-Gertrude Jekyll

All gardens are full of failures.

I know, I know. You’ll never see those words on a motivational poster! But they are true.

Eden is a memory and a promise in our hearts. Eden inspires our garden dreams, but we do not garden Eden’s soil.

That means no matter how experienced we are, no matter how hard we work, our gardens will sometimes fail: terrible weather will wreak havoc, invasive pests might run amok, we might plant a precious tree in exactly the wrong place, and an adorable bunny might mow down every one of our lettuces. These things–and so many more–happen to all of us.

The goal of gardening is never to avoid failure (though we can learn from it and make adjustments).

The goal of gardening is to love our place. And love in a garden is always fruitful.

When we love a garden something will ALWAYS go right. Something will always be worth celebrating, even if some days we must simply celebrate the fact that we managed to feed one cute bunny a feast of fresh, organic lettuces.

Garden for long enough, and you will trail a list of failures. The key is to learn from failure without carrying it around like a burden on your back. Instead, we can look toward next year’s garden with hope.


What will go wrong this year? Who knows. Who cares! It’s always something.

But what will go right this year?? Now that I can’t wait to see.

(pictured above: ‘Ollioules’ tulips and creeping phlox or Phlox stolonifera)




Posted on

January 4, 2021

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