Saturday, June 29, 2013


Pretend the Alphabet Quilt above is your first year of cottage gardening.
All the letters represent plants you killed.
The flowers represent all that lived (can you find it?).
I can see the puzzled look on your face, but read on. 
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it least three times."
~Tony Avent Owner, Plant Delights Nursery
It's now year two of your cottage garden. It's no surprise that you decided
to plant a lot more of the BLUE flower since it was the only plant you didn't kill.
Congratulations, you are now a gardener! LOL
And by the looks of things, you have added to the survival list.
The dead letter file consists of only a few spots here and there.
It was a good year for your cottage garden and your neighbors are 
patting you on the back....even though you killed half of what you grew.
It is now year 3 of your cottage garden and you are actually anticipating NOT
killing flowers this year. Oh boy!
You rush down and buy lots more of the 5 plants that survived
along with a host of experimental plants. And you KNOW some will die and that's okay!
At the end of the year, you only have a few dead letters to replace
and many successful cultivars for next year. 
People take photos of your garden and rave about your green thumb...
all because you've killed so many plants for the past two years!
It's now year four of your cottage garden and you
add foliage plants, herbs, chairs, the kitchen sink
yard art 
and of course....all your old flower friends that you KNOW will grow
and flourish in your garden.
And this is why...
So that's today's garden therapy session for when you kill one of your plants.
FREE therapy....what a deal!
Now I've got to go figure out what to do with this poor flower.
And yes, even after gardening for 40+ years I get sad when I have to pull up a plant. 
Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. All of these were photos I've taken from my garden
and from one other cottage garden here in hot, humid Houston.
If we can do it, you can!


  1. I love your thinking. Great gardens don't come by easily. I knew there was a good reason for killing off so many plants along the way!!!

  2. I feel encouraged. One thing that I haven't adjusted to is the gardening after the move from Ohio to Florida. I thought anything would grow and found out the heat kills more plants than the snow. I can only have plants that thrive on neglect as I am not a natural gardener or even a particularly enthusiastic one.

  3. Great post! I'm still killing plants, and I like thinking that those dead sticks will eventually make my garden better! :)

  4. Cute analogy. I don't know why Black eyed Susans want to act that way, but they do. I just yank 'em out. There are plenty of self-sown Periwinkles ready to take their place in the heat. Changes the color scheme from yellow to pink/purple in a hurry so I plan around that, too.

  5. Thank you for the gardening therapy! It's especially encouraging now that our Texas heat is really on!

  6. Ha, very true! I've killed a great many plants along the way. I keep all of my plant tags, and when I go through them every once in awhile, it's a little depressing to see how many plants are no longer alive in my garden! Well, it's all a learning experience..

  7. That's a good perspective since we do lose so many plants along the way. I needed this today as I am going to have to remove a favorite plant that just suddenly gave up last week. It was a large Brazilian Rock Rose and I have no idea what happened.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Love your post! I have had many plants on probation that ended up with the death penalty. But enough still make it to fill the garden. Eventually we figure out what works in our environments.


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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