If you have gardened for several years (some would say several hours), at some point you will be faced with a loss.
There is a strange feeling of loss that gardeners have that others do not understand.
Here's why: we gardeners deal with LIVING things and these living things
Or they get injured and limp along in the garden.
At this point, I'm not sure which is worse.
I've had to cut short a plant's life after the poor thing was crushed by a tree limb.
It feels horrible.
SO, TO BEGIN OUR THERAPY SESSION, I'VE PUT GARDEN LOSSES INTO
CATEGORIES AND RANKED THEM ON MY EMOTION-O-METER.
See if any of these are familiar to you.
CATEGORY 1: DROUGHT
Drought is slow death to the entire garden. It is a terrible drain on the emotions since it lasts so long
and you are never certain when it will be over. My emotions during a drought range from sadness to joy(when it finally rains)
CATEGORY 2: WINDS
My little rain tree snapped off from this month's high winds.
Gardeners can have entire trees fall on their garden and this is a sudden loss. I've had a hurricane wreak all of our garden three times over the years. Emotionally, I feel angry when this happens along with a feeling of helplessness. But plants DO grow back...even bent ones.
CATEGORY 3: INVASIONS
Baby loquat trees invading the corner of my garden
Perennial morning glory vines invading my trees and fence.
The imported fire ant invading the front agave bed.
You may be wondering why the ADDITION of something to your garden counts as a LOSS. It's an oxymoron. But it's true. Think about it; you are losing control of your garden and this can be very emotional.
I tend to feel challenged when attacked and I attack back by pulling up the invaders. For fire ants I use a biological control that's harmless to the environment. It seems to work.
THE WORST CATEGORY....CATEGORY 4: PEOPLE
Why did the utility tree trimmer people throw all the limbs down and snap my garden plants?!?
Why did my son's teen-age friends miss the drive way and run over some of my favorite agaves?
Why did the renters next door allow 7 year's worth of baby trees to grow up in their flower beds and shade out my garden?
As you can see, this type of loss is very complicated. Usually I just bite my lip, think about something positive, and keep my mouth shut. By the way, since the house next door is vacant and the renters are gone, I got rid of the baby trees.
CATEGORY 5: INSECT & BIRD ATTACKS
Believe it or not, this one doesn't bother me as much. I think if I were still a vegetable gardener
it would. Birds pecking holes in my tomatoes is especially frustrating!
BONUS CATEGORY: SQUIRRELS!!!!
(A banana tree ruined by squirrels chewing each new leaf)
Squirrels can ruin a perfectly good gardening day by acting weird. This month they have decided to gnaw off every new shoot on my banana trees. Why? I have imagined that they will eventually get tired of this amusement and figure out something else to do with their time...LIKE FIND FOOD!
This week I think they are finally moving on to some other activities.
Well, if there's a category I've left off, please leave a comment.
I'm sure I've missed something.
May you have no gardening losses for the foreseeable future (or at least for this week).