July 18, 2012

What You Do Matters...Really.


Keep doing what you're doing.  It matters.

This is what I tell myself when I'm feeling run over by the garden.

Keep doing what you're doing.  It matters.

When another plant up and dies.  Or when the rabbits continue to chomp through all that lovely new growth brought by the recent rains.  When your sweet, excited, 80 pound dog tromps through the perennials trying to get at said rabbits.  When you walk out the front door and discover two never-seen-before insects and wonder if they are friend or foe.

Keep doing what you're doing.  It matters.



Did you know that you don't really know a plant until you've killed at least three of them?

That's what a gracious gardening friend tells me when I explain to her that I can't grow something she has growing beautifully in her garden.  I tell her, "Oh, I've tried that and it died."  She says, "Oh, you don't really know a plant until you've killed it three times!"

Thank you, Lord, for friends like her.  There is nothing like genuine encouragement to lift you up. 

Keep doing what you're doing.  It matters.



And although we can tell ourselves this, it is often nice to hear it from someone else.

So I'm here today telling you that what you do matters.  And to encourage you to keep on doing what you do.



Don't give up.  Don't be discouraged for long.  Gardening and creativity (yes, really, gardeners are creatives) are skills that need to be practiced.  And practiced.  And practiced.

Take a minute to listen to this sage advice...



Keep doing what you do.  It matters.



Really.  ♥








34 comments:

  1. I will keep this in mind when I'm dripping with sweat, hose in hand at 7AM, trying to keep things alive. It's more of a chore than fun, but I would't stop doing it!

    I like the "kill it three times" advice, but that's only practical on inexpensive plants, isn't it?

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    1. Well I'd like to think it's only practical on inexpensive plants but really, is there anything practical about a plant addiction?! It seems the ones I kill are never the inexpensive plants. This year a euphorbia rigida died...probably inadequate drainage and it wasn't a cheap plant. I'll probably try again though as it's one I've wanted in my garden for a long time...I'm foolish like that :)

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  2. I've never heard of the three times rule. I chuckled when I read it though, because it's so true. I always learn the most from my failures and it makes my successes all the more sweeter.

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  3. Wonderful post. I agree with the three times rule. I think gardening is all trial and error anyway. I don't anyone gets it perfect the first time. I always tell my hubby...We just have to find the right plant for the right spot:)

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  4. Thanks for the reminder - Now I just have to remember this any time I want to change up the garden-stuffs (design and otherwise)

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  5. I love this. And it's so encouraging.
    Thank you for this valuable life lesson.
    Let's play soon ...

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  6. Okay, I needed this. It's been a month without rain, and I am tired. Of watering, of looking at the garden, of summer. Thanks for the minor inspiration and major buck up. Thanks.
    -- a tired gardener

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  7. I've heard the three times rule and it really is inspiring. I don't think I would have tried as many plants if I hadn't heard that phrase. This year is the second try for Siberian Irises in my garden, hopefully this is the trick but if not, I've got at least one more go at it!

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  8. Good lesson. Thanks for those encouraging words. This is the time of year that I think my garden looks the worst (and in February again, too). So, it's easy to get discouraged, and with all the hot weather - behind. Which is also discouraging. Sometimes we need to be reminded to push through it!

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  9. A perfect post, Cat. You're right--it means a lot coming from someone else. Thanks for the reminder that gardening, caring for nature, and creativity matter. And thank you for your beautiful words and photos.

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  10. A nice post with great photos Cat. Three time rule I never heard, but I understand that.

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  11. Thanks for your sage advice. I agree with it, appreciate the reminder, and will pass it on. Your creative photography adds to the inspiration.

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  12. My pick me up for the day, thanks Cat.

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  13. Nice encouragement post which is especially needed during times when the garden is stressed (and hence the gardener)! What plant is in your second to last photo? I love the textures and lines!

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    1. Hi Karin, those are some rogue mushrooms that showed up in my boxwood planter. They've been growing steadily for a couple of weeks with all the rain! The photo before that is a spent canna bloom. I thought it as interesting to photograph as the blooms!

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  14. Great to see this post, just as I am feeling so beaten down by the heat and voles and dying plants. Thanks for some much needed encouragement!

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  15. Well, then. It is probably characteristic of this time of year that so many of us responded so positively to your words of encouragement. It would seem nearly everyone is feeling a bit beleaguered these days - due to weather, pests, all the usual gardening shoves. Thank you so much for not only rising above your own momentary disenchantment but past that for bringing any of us willing to be lifted right up along with you! (and thanks as always for your very thoughtfully done photos - bokeh beauty to soothe and inspire!)

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  16. I needed that!!!! I have a big ugly trouble spot in my garden that I have yet to figure out how to fix and might have come up with a solution, possibly, maybe.... I needed this blog hug. THANKS!! :o)

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  17. Preciosas capturas!!Por estas latitudes, con el invierno hay pocas flores y no se ven mariposas.Tengo muchas ganas de que llegue la primvavera. Un abrazo grande.

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  18. Very sage advice.
    It does take a few times, to get to know a plant. Lord knows I've killed my share.

    Sometimes we just want to throw our hands up and cry 'Uncle'. But, we don't.
    It's good we all are here to encourage each other to keep on keepin' on.

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  19. keep taking photos so you can share the beauty with us - it matters. :)

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  20. My biggest character flaw? I am too easily discouraged! It is hard sometimes to stand up after a disappointment, dust yourself off and try, try again. It is somehow comforting to think of these little failures as just "practice". I will have to summon up your little mantra next time I am feeling discouraged.

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  21. As a fellow gardener who is feeling run over by her garden, thanks for the encouragement.

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  22. Great post, Cat - thanks ! Lovely photos and a wonderful little video.

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  23. Cat thank you for the wonderful encouraging uplifting and sage advice..the video was killer and made me realize I am on the right path and why I feel the way I do sometimes...I love the words about knowing a plant only after killing it 3 times. It is practice...it is why I hate golf and others love it...it is what they love and practice...for me well it is the design, the digging in the dirt, the photos, the writing that I love and practice...so thanks Cat...you have kept my spirit alive knowing I am on the right path!

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  24. LOL-I think I now, officially, know delphiniums! *sigh* They're so pretty, and I just can't keep them alive for more than a few weeks once I bring them home.

    Not sure if the little black bug in your picture is one of your unknown critters or not, but it could be a black soldier fly?

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  25. Dear Cat,

    You said it beautifully! It does matter--for us and the wildlife who depend on us. And yes, sometimes we have to work hard (3 strikes, you're out!) but hanging in there creates joy for us and all the creatures who love our handiwork! XXOO Linda

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  26. You post seemed like a loving hug, like someone came up and threw their arms around. What a nice way to start a day.

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  27. Wonderful Cat! I will keep this in mind. So hard to want to try again especially when the plants that die are the expensive ones or the ones I took the effort to import. But yes I agree that we must always keep on doing what we love to do because just doing is as important as getting the results we want.

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  28. Sometimes we need to be encouraged to keep taking the next step. For now, the tree will be planted. In time it will sustain wildlife. It makes a difference, for now. It's all we can do.

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  29. LOVE this post - a lot! Need to share it with my kids too ... great lesson learned.

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  30. Just want I needed to get me out of my 'gardening funk". :)
    Thank you Cat!

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Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

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