Gardening provided plenty of successes and some failures

"In years past I might have considered it too early to dismantle the annual plantings, but I was more than ready this season."

While my sweet granddaughter was here for a visit last week,¬† I enlisted her mom and dad’s help emptying, cleaning and putting the plant containers away for winter.

In years past I might have considered it too early to dismantle the annual plantings, but I was more than ready this season.

My containers came along nicely until the heat wave hit . Once temperatures climbed, it was too hot to spend any time outside. With little attention, it only took a couple weeks for my 2013 container  creations to become an abysmal failure. Attempts to rejuvenate by deadheading and pruning offered little help, so I was glad to see them gone along with all the other annuals planted throughout the beds. It was rather refreshing to see the garden beds clean and tidy once again. The new palette will allow me a better view of the hydrangeas as their flowers turn a deep rusty pink, along with the coming autumn colours of foliage on Ornamental grasses, Fothergillas and Japanese maples.

This season encompassed both success and failure in my garden. Along with lackluster looking containers, I lost my beautiful ‘Red Dragon’ Japanese cut-leaf maple. It died in stages through the summer, teasing me into believing it would overcome until I finally had to remove it……another lesson in accepting things and moving on. In the success column – my Cherry Bomb barberries recovered nicely from last season’s transplant shock; and all my other shrubs are pretty healthy looking and have grown substantially.

I won some and lost some, as it’s been each season since my journey into the passionate pleasures of gardening began in 1996; when my kids were grown and I finally had time to “stop and smell the flowers”. The rewards over the past 17 years have been abundant.

Gardening has strengthened my spirit and given me the sense of lending a hand in creation.

Working in the earth provided a peaceful sanctuary and heightened my senses to the wonders of nature. My column and garden business provided a connection with so, so many wonderful people in our community. Adding beauty to our landscape with garden designs and plantings brought me joy.

Gardening has been a wondrous journey of discovery. Twenty years ago, anyone who knew me would never have believed it would play such an important role in my life. My hope is that 20 years from now, you’ll be able to say the same thing about the new adventures ahead. I’m not quite sure what they are yet, but I’ve decided I need to take advantage of the time left for discovery. In order to make room for new things, I’m prepared to let others go. I will still operate my garden business and am always happy to answer garden questions via phone or email but I’ve decided this season will be my last as a garden columnist.

Before I say goodbye, I’d like send loving thanks to my brother, Jay, for the edits. Special thanks to the Trail Times for allowing me this space to share the journey. And, finally, big hugs to the community for all the kind words and support of my column. It has warmed my heart over the last decade.

I’ll see you in the gardens!

Patty Siddall and Betty Drover operate a local garden business. Contact Siddall Drover Garden Services at 250-364-1005