By Rick Vuyst
Three percent of people who buy a plant it dies the same day. Admitting failure is a great teacher. There are no gardening mistakes, just experiments. For many, the exercise of gardening is curb appeal: a horticultural selfie for all to see. Here is where the landscape at our front steps can go off the rails. You can opt to plant the same thing everyone else is in your neighborhood. WTo follow the crowd and fit in. Or you can break the cycle of cemented mindsets and go out on a limb. The important thing to remember is the following. Your landscape is like your life. The objective is not to “prove” yourself. Your intent should be to “improve” yourself. Here are some tips on how to grow your green thumb and overcome your fear of gardening failure.
1 Kill some plants. If you haven’t killed any plants you’re not trying hard enough. Remember, the goal is not to never fail, but rather to fail better each time in the quest to advance results.
2. Work some low maintenance plants into your landscape. Enjoy their robust growth all the while knowing you’re not doing a thing. Own root landscape roses are an example of a workhorse in a good sunny area.
3. Look down, not up. Start with the planting area and soil.
4. Garden in October and November when few others are. Take advantage of bargains and try them out. It may become a beautiful focal point on your plot. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then. Use weed controls in October and November. The most effective time of the year.
5. An epic garden, like most great changes, were preceded by chaos. Pace yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day — same goes for your garden.
6. Get a houseplant before you branch out. Practice. Learn to nurture. Understand most houseplants are killed with kindness. Too much water is the number one killer of houseplants.
7. Get some plants that work 3 to 4 seasons for you. They make you a hero and genius at the same time. The perennial Nepeta or ornamental grasses are good examples of plants that work even if you aren’t.
8. Be willing to experiment. Don’t be a cookie cutter neighbor.