Beginning Gardeners Series: January

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Beginning Gardeners Series: January

I have a fantastic opportunity writing articles for the Fiskars website.

While the other writers here have an impressive knowledge of things like Latin plant names and ideal soil pH levels, I garden with knowledge so basic that if someone were to ask me to explain the differences between  2 varieties of roses, my response would probably be a lame, corny attempt at humor, "A rose is a rose is a rose." I can explain to you the basic care for roses, but I would require a little research time to explain the differences between two varieties.
 
I wish I had a mind for storing away vast amounts of technical information about gardening, or more accurately, I wish I had the discipline to learn it; but the reality of it is I am a hobby gardener who has found a way to get by through coupling experience with acceptance. My experience has been possible through acceptance that in gardening, sometimes problems will arise that we can't overcome (or because of time or monetary requirements, aren't worth overcoming) and acceptance that there is always the potential for failures even with things that we've had wild success with in the past. For 20 years, even though my knowledge is not extremely technical, I have been able to find immense joy in gardening. I have been able to have pretty landscaping when I carve time out of my schedule to nurture my plants, and I have been able to reduce our grocery bill (while increasing the quality of the food we eat) through freezing and canning what we grow. So even though I'm armed with a knowledge that doesn't reach much beyond the fundamentals, I am a successful gardener.
 
I don't want to give the impression that my approach to gardening is haphazard. Having a rudimentary knowledge does not mean placing tomato plants in the shade, accepting that the plants are a foot tall and never producing a ripe tomato, and then continuing to plant them in the shade every year. If I make the decision to invest time and money in trying to grow something, I learn what it needs from its environment to thrive. I just may require a little research time to tell you the characteristics of different varieties of tomatoes.
 
As we have evaluated how I fit into the picture here with Fiskars, we have determined my strength is as an encouragement to beginning gardeners and those who are content with knowing the hows but are not necessarily wanting to become too deeply invested in the scientific whys. Over the next year, I will share a series of articles, one a month, on the gardening processes that work for our family. The focus will be trying to help others understand that learning to be successful at gardening does not have to be a complicated process. And my hope is that some will then go on to develop an impressive knowledge of things like Latin plant names and ideal soil pH levels! Either way, with extensive technical knowledge or without, we can all share the common bond of being successful at, and finding joy in, gardening.