Epic Fail in the Garden

My twitter feed is overflowing with garden beauty these days.  So now for something completely different.  Here's my half-dead tomato plant.  Fertilizer burn?  

I have a confession to make.  I've killed a lot of plants in my time.  Some victims, such as one extremely troublesome rose bush, deserved to die.  That was clearly premeditated murder.  But many, many other deaths have been involuntary plantslaughter.  Disease, neglect, and pure stupidity have claimed many lives in my garden.  

But that's how we learn.  Today I was also reminded of my repeated failure with cilantro.  Not only did I learn from that experience, but also I learned so much from visitors who read my confession on this blog.        

What have YOU learned from killing a plant lately?         

"Learning starts with failure;
the first failure 
is the beginning of education." 

- John Hersey


Vegetable Gardening with Kids

Our family had fun planting our little vegetable garden this week.  And after helping me choose which lettuce seed packet to open, my daughter actually asked for salad for dinner that night!

Vegetable gardening with kids teaches so many healthy habits.  

1.  Eating healthy 
Kids are more likely to eat the vegetables they grow themselves.  At three years old, my daughter refused to eat baby carrots from a bag.  Once she pulled one from the ground, however, I couldn't have stopped her from eating it.

2. Staying active
Like many 7-year-old boys, my son is somewhat addicted to Minecraft.  Tending our garden gets him outside and moving.

3.  Appreciating nature  
"Not all bugs are bad!" is a constant refrain.  We talk about pollinators and their importantance.  We talk about why I hesitate to use pesticides in our garden.

4. Learning patience 
In our culture of instant gratification, I think watching a plant grow from seed is good for the soul.  My daughter asked after the garden this weekend, concerned she'd miss the seeds sprouting while she was away at her dad's house.  We will celebrate the first sprouts, the first flower, the first tiny green tomato.  What a beautiful way to live life.


Impulse garden purchases

I was feeling sorta low today, so after work I went for some retail therapy to the garden center.  More than ready to do some fall planting!


Yay butterflies!

I'm really happy that my 8-year-old daughter got excited about this butterfly.  She even took this picture.  Raising her right :)


Boycotting Bradford Pears

This is the damage done by a Bradford pear tree in my neighbor's yard.  They just split apart spontaneously with the slightest wind sometimes.

This is one reason I hate them.  The other reason is they are very invasive; you see them popping up all over the place in cleared areas, crowding out our native trees.

Oh and I swear the flowers smell like moldy socks.

Thinking about planting a spring flowering tree?  Why not a dogwood or a red bud?