Over the years I have had a lot of wonderful successes and just as many failures in my yard. Plants have bloomed, plants have died, plants have been eaten! This is the capricious nature of gardening. The garden is always at the mercy of too little rain, too much rain, natural disasters, bugs, diseases, mold, mildew, and various critters. You can do everything right and your thriving garden can still be reduced to nubs in one night by a hungry deer. When you decide to put your mark on nature, you learn to give up a certain amount of control. Of course, as in life, our sense of control is just an illusion. Through the unpredictable nature of gardening, many life lessons can be learned. Gardening teaches you the beauty that comes from patience, perseverance, and persistence. Although it can bring tough lessons, gardening is also a creative, rewarding, and optimistic hobby. It isn't easy to look at a patch of hard, cold, dark soil right now and imagine that beauty will "possibly" be the reward in a matter of months. But, that is the life of a gardener- you have to have faith in what you don't see and have hope for what's to come in the future.
Yesterday I was reminded of one of my most memorable gardening lessons. When we moved into our current home, I was excited to put my mark on the yard. Outside my patio door was a planting area that had a few overgrown herbs, but nothing much else to look at. I decided to plant two uniquely colored shrub roses that would bloom most of the summer- a little bit pink, a little bit peach, with a touch of yellow. The colors reminded me of a tropical sunset.