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Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Apr 24, 2016 6:41 AM CST
Seriously, have you ever thought of just giving up on gardening, for whatever reason?

I've been gardening for just two years now, but as time goes on, I feel less and less sure about it. Okay, there are the joyst and cheers when a plant does well and flowers in front of your nose, but the setbacks and disasters are numerous aswell.
In the past year I've seen all my precious bulbs get ridden with a nasty fungus that's almost impossible to eradicate. I saw the same symptoms on my Camassia bulbs. The first common clade or what it is these plants share is Asparagales. So this fungus could potentially infect plants that I most like and most like to grow like (hold on to your geezers): Agapanthus, Hyacinths, Daffodils, Orchids, Hemerocallis, Iris, Eremurus, Crocosmia, Alliums etc....
Not to mention all the viruses and bacteria that cause rots and whatever... Thumbs down

And I'm NOT interested in treating these as annuals, no way! For me the garden experience is to see the same plants thrive year after year.

Then there's the slugs and snails and caterpillars that try to reduce my plants to the bare veins and other nasties that try to make some sort of meal out of your garden.

And finally there's the weather - the rain and damp cold - that seems to just make everything worse. At this moment I'm less enjoying it; it seems more like a battle I'm bound to lose. I'm seriously thinking about whether it's all worth it.

So have you ever thought of giving up? Share your story
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Apr 24, 2016 8:28 AM CST
It's a lot of work and I had always said I hate gardening, but I discovered a creative outlet at this house I'm in now. Late in life; started while in my mid-40's. This house and lot just challenged me and we were new to Alberta, fresh from beautiful BC and missing that beauty. And I've learned it gets me outside in the fresh air, doing something close to exercise... which is something I would not get otherwise. Those are all positive things. It is expensive and when we were younger we could not have afforded it. As you mentioned, there are always setbacks and those can be expensive. But I'm a practical girl and careful with my money. I (and my husband) have decided the results are worth it. And I don't have any other expensive hobbies. 😝

I would encourage you to keep at it. Some years are better than others. Get help. Do your research on line. Make some gardening friends. It's a healthy endeavour from many points of view (exercise, frame of mind, fresh air, positive out look on life, gives you something to look forward to each new spring, friends with things in common, keeping you away from less healthy things...). Keep it up!
Name: Clint Brown
Medina, TN (Zone 7b)
Hellebores Hummingbirder Heucheras Winter Sowing Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener
Ferns Bee Lover Cottage Gardener Garden Procrastinator Clematis Birds
Apr 24, 2016 8:36 AM CST
If you are having trouble with a certain type of plant, I'd try to find plants that are meant to grow in your area. That way you would not have so many disappointments. I heard one gardener say that he will try a plant 3 times. After he kills it 3 times, he accepts that the plant won't grow for him. Don't give up though!
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Frugal Gardener Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums
Salvias Garden Art Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Apr 24, 2016 9:04 AM CST
I think we've all felt that way at times, but we snap out of it. Gardening does get you outdoors and some exercise. It is a joy to have beautiful blooms or to be able to eat your own fresh fruits or veggies. Weather is always a gamble for everyone. Some years are wonderful, and other times the weather is totally hard on the gardens.

I finally have a greenhouse I've wanted my whole life. Right now I'm battling mice, chipmunks, aphids, whitefly, spider mites and more. Sad It's a challenge, but I plan to continue and will get these things under control. I enjoy the few plants that are doing very well right now. I had a crown of thorns for 10 years inside the house. Now that it is in the greenhouse, it's blooming non-stop! I have a hibiscus doing the same thing. I got more tomatoes than we could eat this winter, despite the aphids! I had wonderful lettuce, peppers and onions. I'm just experimenting now to see what will work out the best.

I like the suggestion that you try things other local gardeners are growing. I've also tried plants more than once before giving up on them. Hang in there, stick around here and enjoy the ride!
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Apr 24, 2016 9:06 AM CST
Clint, I was thinking something similar. Learn what works in your area. Lee-Roy, you mentioned a lot of rain. Research what plants like to be wet. Drive around your neighbourhood and look for yards you like that are thriving and you like the look of. Then create a plan for your yard that incorporates those plants. My husband likes the thick woodsy undergrowth look of his Vancouver Island foresty areas, so I created shade gardens underneath the trees in our back yard. I planted ferns, astlbe, Spiderwort, bleeding hearts, Ligularia, hosta and many other shade plants under those trees and created a beautiful oasis under those trees for him. He loves it (and so do I). But, I had to do a lot of research on what would work because we are in a very cold winter Zone here and I was not a gardener when we moved here. I had a lot of learning to do. But it was worth it!
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier
Apr 24, 2016 10:31 AM CST
I give up on plants, but never on gardening in general. I don't enjoy struggling plants, so if one doesn't do well at my house, I don't worry about it, and welcome its' addition to the compost if that's all it can do for me. There are so many plants that would love a shot at being in my garden, I'll never run out of options. IMVHO/E, mother nature makes these decisions, not me. Within what she will allow, I cultivate what I like instead of trying to battle forces beyond my control. It can take me 2 yrs to get a spot ready to be a garden. Most people (who garden) spend a lifetime creating/tweaking/changing things. Mine is different every year. If you are enjoying the general activity of gardening, the details will fall into place over time, in ways you have never even imagined yet.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
Frogs and Toads Birds Roses Region: United States of America Peonies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Hostas Garden Art Echinacea
Apr 24, 2016 10:32 AM CST
I totally agree with Clint and Connie. I have tried many different plants over the years learning which ones would do best in my yard conditions. I do love gardening and have never considered giving it up, but you have to have patience as it is a learning experience which can take time to give you the results you seek. Researching the plants will give you helpful information.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

Name: Judy
Simpsonville SC (Zone 7b)
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I helped beta test the first seed swap
Apr 24, 2016 12:03 PM CST
Started gardening with my parents as a teenager. It's something I return to again each spring, adding more knowledge little by little. Some years were too busy to grow my own seeds but I always grew tomatoes, basil and a few flowers. That is my base level. Then other years, like recently, I grow everything from seeds, save seeds, swap seeds, have compost going, worm bin, lots of ornamentals and enough veggies that I hardly have to buy any.
As far as it being expensive I try to spend as little as possible, which is why I compost and swap seeds. For Christmas and birthday gifts I have s supply of extra Tubers, seeds, herbs and seedlings that my good friends appreciate. So I spend less money in gift type items as well.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
Apr 24, 2016 1:57 PM CST
First thing DON'T GIVE UP. Plants are like life your life is never a bed of roses.

I agree with others find what grows in your area and really make sure you have good soil. It is life. If you eat twinkies for every meal you would catch every disease that came in your air space.

Last I feel your pain and discouragement. I have gardened since I could walk with my mother and as an adult. I finally had had it with the small suburban yard and went in search of a property with enough land to garden until I dropped. Found my piece of heaven (in my price range) of 4 acres. 1 acre for woods, 1 acre for the fruit trees, and 2 acres to garden. I thought I had hit pay dirt I dug up hundreds of plants from my old house and moved them to the new house. The real estate lady said no one would buy it if I did not make it look like less work to keep up so many gardens.

I had all those beautiful mature plants in place from my old house. Grabbed my tea one morning to go out and look at what was planted and make plant adding plans and all the plants were gone. The deer, groundhogs, rabbits, and every known to man animal had had a party and ate everything down to stems.

The plants I love I discovered are their favorite food.....Hostas, Daylilies, roses, etc. I have been here 4 yrs trying to figure out what I can plant and garden without being disappointed every morning. I felt like giving up many times the last 4 yrs. Then something comes up and nothing eats it and I am back at the nursery spending my money.
[Last edited by Cinta - Oct 10, 2016 12:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Peggy C
Graham NC USA (Zone 7b)
hand drumming with friends
Region: North Carolina Butterflies Irises Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
Apr 24, 2016 4:50 PM CST
This is my 3rd year with my inherited Garden of Surprises... it came with our new Home.
Gardening in North Carolina and in Florida [ where we lived for 20+ yrs ] is like nighty and day ---

Love this Garden .. even though the 1st year mostly weeded [what I knew were weeds]; daily digital documentation with my camera .. front to back and back to front .. side to side ... every day - diff. times of day. I had very little idea what was planted, just knew the former owner/gardener was out there every day [ neighbors are very helpful ] !

Have had bag worms [ awful critters the 2nd yr - they haven't come back ]; the robber fly shows up at times - though he is discouraged from entering ... if you have seen one, you know how ugly he is.
Every other year the most beautiful, large, brown and yellow spider shows up -- spinning a web with a ladder .. her name is Aggie somthing-or-other, so I call her 'Aggie'. She is a good gal for the garden.

Now, deer - that is another story --- have made up a 'Deer Cocktail' that I spray on Daylilies that they do love... so far it has worked. You just need a spray bottle, sudsy water, hot sauce and salad oil. Spray every other day [ here ] except on rainy days.

This Garden of Surprises is a joy - it is beautiful - it isn't anything but casual. When things grow, I thank them - if they don't -- that's the way it goes.

Joy - Outdoors and as one soul has said " eat and play in the dirt ''
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Flowering Almond

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Papaver dubium - Orange Poppy

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Chives .. yes, they are very good!

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Sweet Mock-orange
Live !

This isn't a dress-rehearsal ~
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
Hellebores The WITWIT Badge Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Apr 24, 2016 8:01 PM CST
It does have its challenges , like this year vine weevil grubs have really done a job on my Heuchera which are my favorites. But I guess part of it is overcoming the challenge, or more likely I am to stubborn to give up on them.
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Apr 25, 2016 8:41 PM CST
I have had such fun following your posts for the last few years. I mostly lurk. You clearly dove in head-first, and have made an amazing transformation in your garden. It has been a tremendous amount of work for you.
Now you enter the next phase- the garden "bones" are in, and the process of finding out which plants will thrive, and come back each year without requiring too much care. I moved a mile, changing from sand to clay, and had to relearn a lot. Now at the nursery I just walk on by all the Salvias, agastaches, and daisies I cannot have. But I now have things that DO return. Also some things I had to try repeatedly-I have two Martagon Lilies preparing to bloom now! So look at what does well, plant more of that and other related species. It is also possible you are being too much of a "Zone-Pusher" for your northern location, where it really is chilly and gloomy and rainy in the spring. And spring is long there!
I would suggest a walk around your neighborhood. Write down what is pretty and doing well in ordinary gardens (NOT the garden where they clearly work at it 40 hours a week and use every poison available). Plant those easy things as your backbone plants, then try only a few that are "iffy".
Also do read about it-I have found only about 1 of 5 types of crocus I plant do well. I have no idea why. But now I have crocus.
Another reassurance-around here it seems that new gardeners are always overrun by moles and voles. Once the initial damage is done, a new equilibrium is reached. New tunnels do not appear. Same for slug damage-I find once perennials are established and bigger (usually takes one or two years) they grow so fast and vigorously in the spring that even without baiting, the slugs just cannot eat fast enough to kill them!
Keep at it-we are rooting for you!

Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
Apr 25, 2016 8:49 PM CST
Here are some easy things I found. You will find others that do well where you are. For example, the Bergenia-I turned up my nose at these, because they were common and I thought the leaves looked like cabbages. But then after repeated frustrating failures of other plants I bought some, both the common kinds and a new expensive cultivar. Every single one has survived. I really like them.

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Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
Apr 26, 2016 5:32 AM CST
Another example of hanging in there until you succeed: I wanted some cone flower (echenacia). I did my research, the spot in my front yard was perfect, my Zone was perfect, yet I bought time after time again, big beautiful plants from the stores and they never survived their first winter. Then one year I bought a packet of seeds from the hardiest version and threw them in that spot. Those seeds have flourished and have come back wonderfully now again for the third year in a row. Yet not all seeds flourish for me. It's trial and error.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Apr 26, 2016 8:21 AM CST
I've been gardening for over 40 years and no, i've never considered giving it up; but, hard as it might be for a lot of us here to understand, it isn't something that everyone wants to do... I did give up golfing so I'd have more time for the garden, though Big Grin

It's a hobby -- if it isn't something you love doing, why not find something else to devote your time to?
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / - A Universe of Communities
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(Zone 8b)
Apr 26, 2016 9:06 AM CST
I can't get down on the ground anymore to weed. So last year I used the weedeater and cut it all down to the ground. When I finished, I was sick because I thought nothing would come up this year. Some things have not returned and I am upset about it but I have to take responsibility for that. But also this year I have had voles eat my hyacinths. I have never, never had voles. So, I don't know which is worse - the weed eating I did or the voles Sad
Name: Rosie
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
Apr 27, 2016 9:26 AM CST
I get how you feel. Discouragement / disappointment / frustration are part of the experience. But, so is elation, satisfaction, accomplishment and a beautiful space..
Even if it is only beautiful in patches!

Also, it is NEVER perfect..always something to work on, move, or to try.

It provides an opportunity to grow and to laugh at ourselves.

It is meant to be a joyful pastime...not a job.

It can be a hole you toss money into...but you won't gain weight from it like some other holes we toss money into via fancy dinners.

It is a way to improve your mental and physical health, strength, and endurance.

Gardening is designed to reinforce the knowledge that you can prevail through a series of challenges( reinforced by education and learning experiences.) And, with any education --- there are tests to gauge mastery of the skills/ and educational content.

My present issue is AFTER 16 years in the same garden...VOLES. Voles..cutting everything off at the base. The plant looks fine and then it keels over...I dig around and I may see the roots have been shredded. 😛 Money flying away. Disappointment. Planning for color and form gone astray. Now, I got to trap or kill.... or dissuade.....

Or give up.....Never

Don't do it.
Keep plugging away.
Look how far you have come

Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Name: Ruud
The Netherlands
Aroids Region: Europe Foliage Fan Houseplants Solar Power Birds
Bromeliad Bulbs Butterflies Cactus and Succulents Cat Lover Composter
Apr 27, 2016 9:47 AM CST
You published a few pics in the plantdatabase. As these are the bulbs you are trying to grow in Bilzen I can understand your disappointment, they are (apart from the Iris) not fit for our climate. So go on May 1 to Domein Bokrijk for the yearly (fantastic!) Radio 2 plant market and buy plants fit for your soil and your region. Check the gardens in your neighbourhood to find out what type of plants will grow well in Bilzen. If you have no clue: ask on any Belgium gardening forum. And believe me, there does not exist any fungus that will stop you from growing many species of the Asparagales in your garden.

Have fun and learn and enjoy!


By the way: are the castle gardens of Alden-Biesen worth visiting from a plant point of view or are they too French (lot of symmetry, few species)? I have been there only for the Orchillim twice but thats too early in the season.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Apr 27, 2016 2:24 PM CST
Excellent suggestions, Ruud !
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / - A Universe of Communities
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C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Apr 27, 2016 4:04 PM CST
To Ruud: leuk je te zien en bedankt voor je reactie :)
As in regards to the photos I published, the bulbs you mentioned I don't keep in ground during the winter. I lift them in autumn for dormancy. I've only repotted them a few weeks ago.

Come to think of it, one of them is starting to yellow (and fast) from the tips down. I gave some soluble high nitrogen fertellizer in hopes that's the problem, but I'm not sure. Can anyong say?

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As for the others, I don't see which ones you mean... Confused

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