Anybody, whether an expert or wannabe gardener, will have high hopes when planting or buying any kind of plant. We want them to be prolific and beautiful in our homes, and the professionals at the garden centres know just what to do to make their plants look so irresistible that we just have to have them.
As a person who enjoys growing from seed, the process of getting those plants in the garden is a bit more torturous. Seedlings may be wiped out through carelessness or by pests… no, not just seedlings… Plants at almost any stage of growth are vulnerable to many different threats, and you just have to learn to understand what went wrong and try not to repeat the same mistake.
This is especially testing when you’re growing edible plants, and you see the fruit flowers and hope for successful pollination. Then you see the fruits growing and hope that they can keep going safely until you can harvest them. There are just too many variables that are out of our control, and that’s where the patience and hope come in.
Hope is fairly obvious, but the patience is key. You have to give the plants their due time to do their thing. In that time, you also have to look after them properly – not just watering and fertilising them, but also watching for pests and disease. This seems to be the season for mealybugs and cucumber beetles, because the former are trying to take over the papaya tree while the latter have been invading the cucumbers growing on the trellis. And let’s not get me started on the snails…
Obviously, all these won’t turn me off gardening, because it’s my favourite form of relaxation. It’s a good thing I’m an optimist!