All Things Gardening forum: Never Lose Hope ... with Gardening (in the title) 😉

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Name: Sasha Wiseman
Fl. (Zone 8b)
I'm quite frond of plants.
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DaisyRyder
Mar 22, 2018 6:08 PM CST
~Never Lose Hope ... with Gardening (in the title) 😉 ~

This is a spin-off of a thread posted in 2016 by @Arico whom at that time was questioning if the struggles of gardening outweighed the joys. The thread "Giving up" in All Things Gardening forum We've all been there. At some point. "Why bother?" "It's a lot of work." "Just forget about it." I know I've contemplated "giving up" and "letting go" several times. Didn't actually act on it until this past winter when I let nature take its course on plant "heirlooms" passed down to me from several generations. Plants I plucked from 48 states and smuggled back home to my little nook in North Florida. "If doesn't want to grow here, why force it?" Was part of my reasoning.
Part.
The rest?
I've no idea what I was thinking. After it was all said and done I was devastated. Why!? Because in a moments flash of realization that my green thumb pride has been a part of me for so long and I ignored my silent greenery, that called out in terrifying whispers "help" as they froze. It was a lightning bolt that jolted my inner core. The remnants of the potted plant massacre, which would have filled a commercial nursery, had me cursing my error. So many memories and stories with each plant, leaf, blossom and shoot. What have I done!?
I gave up hope.
After pouring my heart out on the above mentioned thread, @tx_flower_child heard my woes and tried to perk me up like a withered impatiens flower. With much debate on "giving up", "throwing in the towel", "letting go" and "not losing hope" @greene inspired this thread that begs the question(s) "Have you ever been on the brink of giving up hope" "Have you ever felt the heartbreak of relinquishing hope in the garden?" "Has hope ever kept you afloat in a sea of green with life rafts made of blossoms?"
Never lose hope.
If you ever feel that there is no hope left in that pile of rusty garden tools, no hope left at the bottom of that soil bag or no hope in removing those store stickers off your new terra-cotta planter. Know this, we as gardeners unite. We're here to help each other. I know, that without each of you who have helped me over the years. From the old garden guides to here at NGA, you've been a blessing disguised as text and smileys. Thank you.
So?
Have you ever almost given up hope on your garden?
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Dreams don't work unless you do.
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greene
Mar 22, 2018 6:28 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing I absolutely love the title of this new thread. Too cute. Okay, I'll jump in.

After being injured at work several years ago I could not do much of anything...and that included gardening. After one year with zero gardens, I said, (pardon my choice of words), Damn it!! I will find a way to garden! The doctors said I was permanently disabled; no, I would not accept that. I was not ready to give up,

I limped out to the backyard, clumsily sat on a plastic milk crate with a scuffle hoe (hula hoe to @philipwonel) and pushed that hoe back and forth using just one arm. My fat butt fell through the plastic crate *Blush* so I put a 2 x 12 on top of the crate and kept working. Sometimes I fell off the crate. But I did not give up. I wanted a patch of weed-free soil to plant a garden.

Okay, that wasn't working too well - it was taking too long. So I decided container gardening might work. I used the evil broken plastic milk crate, lined it with a trash bag, filled it with potting soil. Do you have any idea how long it takes to fill something like that using only a little hand trowel and one hand? Like, forever. But I did it. Then I found more containers and filled them. Since I could not bend I put the containers up on some aquarium stands that folks had discarded at the roadside - just the right height for me to garden while sitting...on a lawn chair. I already learned not to trust milk cartons made of plastic. Whistling

My container garden was outside the door so I could access it easily. I had tomatoes, peppers, parsley, mint, and I forget what else but to me it was the most beautiful garden ever. Ten or twelve ramshackle pots and in my eyes, it was a garden. Thumbs up Hurray!

As I worked outside I gradually got better. Sunshine, fresh air, and a positive attitude. Never give up. Even when every medical person and all their fancy degrees tell you that you cannot do something, prove them wrong. Just do it anyway. No one can stop a determined gardener. I tip my hat to you.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Sasha Wiseman
Fl. (Zone 8b)
I'm quite frond of plants.
Garden Art Multi-Region Gardener Hummingbirder Keeper of Koi Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Fruit Growers Garden Ideas: Level 2
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DaisyRyder
Mar 22, 2018 6:56 PM CST
That is beautiful Greene. Hurray!
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Mar 22, 2018 8:15 PM CST
greene I tip my hat to you.

I think gardening IS hope. at least, for me, in almost all gardening, I do something believing I may see something grow and become beautiful, tasty, or useful to wildlife. Maybe this is how other people feel when they knit, or do crafts, maybe that's the essence of a creative pursuit, your chosen craft is one you've decided that every effort will have some reward.
Then again, there must be the pleasure in the actual act. I just love putting seeds and plants in pots or ground. even if I know full well seeds do not always grow, I still know there's hope.
When I talked about letting go, I meant, for those plants that fail you, just let go and move on. Maybe you had one sick individual, or are battling too many factors that the plant doesn't grow well in.. don't beat yourself up over it.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Mar 23, 2018 8:27 AM CST
@greene Hi there Mary, long time, no hear from you ?

I had no ideal, of what a scuffle hoe was. I thought, it was some new invention . Then, you sent me a picture of yours, I went : "It's a Hula Hoe." D'Oh! The most used, and versatile tool in my shed. It can really, replace any tool in the shed. Tell me something it won't do ?
It really should be called : "The Uni-Tool"
I belive that, my sister and I, are the only two people hear, that know what a scuffle hoe is. Thanks to you.
My question is : What came first, the scuffle hoe, or the Hula hoe ?🤔???

Or ? Should it be called : "The mary greene machine ! (It got mary greene, back into gardening)"
I'll bet, you like, that one ! 👍

Happy gardening, Y'ALL 😀
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Mar 23, 2018 8:32 AM CST
I finally bought one last summer, but haven't much used it yet. I'm trying to train myself to use tools more often. I hope I am successful.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
[Last edited by Bonehead - Mar 23, 2018 11:12 AM (+)]
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Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017
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fwmosher
Mar 23, 2018 9:06 AM CST
Wow, Just a great idea for a new thread. One for "Never Lose Hope"! Some great postings already, except we are now very off topic with the "Hula Hoe" discussion, which has nothing to do with "Hope" other than Greens's mention of using one. Anyway, I have an example of never losing hope:
Thumb of 2018-03-23/fwmosher/9783e2
Those are my first pictures of my own "American Hazelnuts" from last Summer. Four bushes, 5 years old, and the hazelnuts a little smaller than the Christmas fare I used to remember! Just delicious! I was tempted many times to "dig & turf" as "I almost gave up hope"! But I didn't! Let's hear similar stories of "Never losing Hope"!
Name: Gary
Wyoming MN (Zone 4a)
hostasmore
Mar 23, 2018 9:22 AM CST
Several years ago I purchased a double hepatica plant.I never saw it again until last year. After cleaning up a fallen tree which was a major mess last year, I noticed something very attractive blooming in the mess. It was the double hepatica. It was very attractive and I would dare say even robust. It made the backyard season for me last year. I hope to see it again this year.
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Dreams don't work unless you do.
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greene
Mar 23, 2018 9:34 AM CST
fwmosher said:Wow, Just a great idea for a new thread. One for "Never Lose Hope"! Some great postings already, except we are now very off topic with the "Hula Hoe" discussion, which has nothing to do with "Hope" other than Greens's mention of using one. Let's hear similar stories of "Never losing Hope"!


I sent you an acorn. Lovey dubby Thanks for helping to keep this new thread on topic. Thumbs up

Okay, who else has a story to inspire us all to keep gardening?

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Mar 23, 2018 10:44 AM CST
This thread is a blessing. Not because I have given up hope about wanting to garden, but because I simply cannot figure out a way to go forward and keep on gardening. I am floundering.

My garden is being destroyed by a plague of woodrats. Both the legal and illegal pot growers have over-used rodentcides to protect their "crops" for years and now nature is totally out of balance. The natural predators which keep the woodrat population somewhat under control has also been poisoned and the woodrat population has exploded in my area.

I grow a lot of roses, which have all been damaged by the rats, but I think they will come back, IF the rats do not continue to eat them. With all of my research, I don't know if their eating habits change as the seasons change and different foods become available to them.

So far, in the last few weeks I have found that they have eaten my forsythias, my spierias, my junipers ... I have lots on the slope, so they have only made a dent there ... my lavenders, my ivy, my huge contoneaster, the leaf buds on my maple tree, my white fir ... they are workin' on it ... my magnolia shrub / tree, my mock orange shrubs, my butterfly bushes, my salvias, my lamb's ears, St. John's wort and more. Every morning when I go outside, I see more damage.

OK ... I may not be able to grow what I have always loved and grown, but WHAT can I grow that they won't eat ? That's where I am losing hope. I cannot find the answer to that question. How do I change direction ? What do I do to have a garden ?

I can't find any information.

This is what they have done to the cedar tree down the road:


Thumb of 2018-03-23/RoseBlush1/1b7dbe


Thumb of 2018-03-23/RoseBlush1/44dd16

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
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blue23rose
Mar 23, 2018 11:29 AM CST
Oh my, Lyn! That would be disheartening and would make me want to throw in the towel, too. But I hope that something will be to the disliking of those rats.

Really have enjoyed everyone's stories. Our passion for gardening is what drives us to stick with it while we can and keeps us hopeful that each new year we will be able to continue.

My own experience with giving up has just started. After 15 years of building flower beds, my hip is telling me to slow down, and I am already dreading all the weeding I will have to do in a few weeks. I have been really trying not to use weed killer because I want my garden to be bee friendly, so hand weeding has become necessary.

I promised a friend some daylilies and am already thinking about giving her whole clumps of what I have just to make some open spaces.

With each new flower bed over the years, my husband would say, 'you're not going to be able to keep up with this when you get older, then what are you going to do?' I would just say, 'Well, at least I had it while I could and will downsize when that happens.' I knew I could always convert it back to grass for him to mow.

But I won't give up everything all at once, so there will always be a reason to step outside and enjoy the beauty for hopefully many more years.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Mar 23, 2018 11:40 AM CST
Keep going.
Keep going!
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017
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fwmosher
Mar 23, 2018 12:32 PM CST
RoseBlush1: I so empathize with your dilemma! We do not have wood rats here, but we do have deer, squirrels and chipmunks. All of them pests to a serious gardener. In my case, I bought a pellet gun (I'm in the sticks here) and over a ten year period, I had personally wiped out 2, 978 red squirrels, ( I stopped counting), 3 very rare flying squirrels (have to use a flashlight at night to "jack" them-they can jump from the ground straight up unto the feeders, twenty feet high, and chew plastic, metal, everything, what a scary creature), and unfortunately, a few chipmunks. The latter, just climb up a fruit tree, cherry/plum, etc. and clean every fruit off one branch, and then go down, pick them up and bury them all.
Now to your issue in particular: I did a little research, and ruling out deer, and you would see the tracks, it must be as you are most aware, wood rats. There are the "sonic" systems for sale, but no hard evidence of efficacy! Trapping seems to be the best method. They just look like large mice or rat traps, with the spring load. Any chance you can pay some neighbourhood kid or paper boy, to set a number of traps for you, bait and dispose of the kill, for a minimum weekly fee, or as a "bounty" hunter? So sorry, but the only thing I can think of. Hang in there-don't give up hope! Cheers!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Mar 23, 2018 1:14 PM CST
Lyn, your woodrat problem sounds like a biblical plague of locusts or something. Sad I don't know if you can employ or attract a predator, maybe? It might take some time but that would be the natural solution. A friend of ours built an owl house and the nocturnal rodent population went way down (proportional to the height of the pile of rodent bones under the owl house). We have ground squirrels, pocket gophers, and bunnies but no wood rats. They are known to be a serious threat to succulents of various types. I have never seen a live gopher but my dog hunted and killed one so I know where they live.

When I want a plant to survive gophers, I plant it inside a 5 gallon wire cage, the lip of which extends a couple of inches above soil level. When I want a plant to survive squirrels and bunnies, I plant a Euphorbia. They must taste horrible and I think they are probably toxic in quantity, so those plants are generally safe except in times of extreme drought. There are lots of succulent Euphorbias, so it's not much of a limitation. Maybe you can do a sort of inventory to see what plants of the type you like would have this same quality? Just as a proactive step in case the plague does not end any time soon.

I was reading the wikipedia page on the woodrat and apparently they are really into shiny things, to the point where they will drop food in order to take a small coin home. I don't know if that is true but very strange.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Mar 23, 2018 2:20 PM (+)]
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Dreams don't work unless you do.
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greene
Mar 23, 2018 4:38 PM CST
@Baja_Costero, Do you have a "Don't lose hope" story about gardening to share? I look forward to reading your contribution to this hopeful thread. Thank You! Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
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Baja_Costero
Mar 23, 2018 5:13 PM CST
No, really, for me gardening has been all about reacting to setbacks before they become impossible to manage. Hopelessness is a deep dark pit that I try to avoid whenever possible. Smiling Just being aware of what's going on puts you halfway to solving it.

When the mice were nibbling my baby seedlings, I put protecting window screen boxes over them. When the bunnies devoured a big multi headed cactus, I resolved to protect the next one with a chicken wire cage. When the mealy bugs wiped out half of the native Dudleyas I was propagating one year, I resolved to budget for loss in the future, and be more vigilant for those particular insects. Every time something bad happens, I look at it as a case study in how to improve my awareness or response in the future. My gardening involves a lot of really tough, drought-resistant plants and they are already pretty strongly biased toward survival. I just need to pay close attention to their needs and do what I can to facilitate at the right time.
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Mar 24, 2018 2:13 AM CST
@blue23rose Vickie, I too have the same problem with my hip. Last year out of nowhere, my left hip (sharp groin pain) started hurting. So I decided if I am going to continue with all my flower beds and vegetable gardening, I needed to do something. So I decided my first move would be to lose a little of this extra weight I have been carrying around. So far I have lost 18 lbs. and hopefully another 15 or so will come off. I plan to try to sit and kneel more when I can verses bending at the waist which is all I ever used to do. I am investing in a few new tools, but I will not give up my love of gardening. It is what keeps me going.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Mar 24, 2018 3:21 AM CST
Jeane ...

This will not help you lose weight, but it will help you with movement and flexibility ... something we lose as we grow older ...

Have you tried chair tai chi ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Smiling
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Mar 24, 2018 6:21 AM CST
@gardenglassgems, Jeanne, congratulations on your weight loss! I could stand to lose about 20 lbs and that may help me some too.

@RoseBlush1, Lyn, I tried to look at the You Tube video but it wanted me to log in using my 'Google Apps' account. I have a Google account, but not Google Apps. I guess I will have to investigate this further.

As I sit here looking out my French doors, it is rainy and windy and looking very glum with a temp of 39F. I would so like to take a walk in my garden to see what is coming up. The daffodils are blooming but their heads are bent. But I know that things will turn around, so my hope for getting out there is just delayed, not gone. Smiling
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
Vegetable Grower Birds Region: United States of America
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gardenglassgems
Mar 25, 2018 7:24 AM CST
@RoseBush1 Thanks Lyn for the Youtube link. I watched it and will give it a try. I have never even heard of it before. I bookmarked you post with the link.

Thanks Vicki. I started following weight watchers on Jan. 15.

I had hoped to get outside and do more clean up but it is very windy today which makes it too cool for me. I know there are better days coming so I will be patient and work on my pallet flags which also gives me a feeling of accomplishment.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,

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