Gardens hold more than dirt and plants. They hold power. They heal.

Gardens foster community and relationships and awaken the senses while they provide hope and teach patience and fortitude.

Gardens contribute to our quality of life whether we're working in them or sitting back and taking them in.

Here we will dig deep and expose what all gardens hold, teach and reveal.

Finding Hope in the Hopeless

by Tami Gallagher

My garden this year has been trying to say the least.  I have had many losses, bugs, and mishaps:

Dead Dahlia
~ One day I had beautiful magenta dahlia blooms, the next I had a completely dead plant.  Who knows.

~ My cute little tabby grass in my early spring container grew to be about four feet tall when transplanted into my sunny window box but my Kong Coleus must have been mislabeled because it isn’t so much as Kong as it is all of three inches tall.

~ I haven’t had a single ripe strawberry.  The rabbits and I both think, “Oh, that will be perfect tomorrow!” but they must get up earlier than I do so now where there used to be strawberries, I just have crunchy brown leaves.

~ We adopted a four-month-old dog, Toby, last December and he has been wreaking havoc in all his puppy energy. He ate the cucumber plants, ran through the Hydrangea shrub destroying all the big beautiful blooms, peeled all the bark off of an Ash tree like it was a banana, broke off all the lower branches of my Japanese Lilac, and then there's all the holes... I had to give up my plan for re-designing the backyard this season. 

Blossom End Rot
~My first bag of potting soil had some grass/weed seeds in it and they of course sprouted in their new happy environment.

~The trumpet vine I removed two years ago seems to have gathered force underground last season and decided to sprout up shoots all over my garden; I'm giving up on the battle for now, but not the war!

Unwanted Grass in Potting Soil
~My Roma tomatoes have blossom-end rot.

~The Mugo pines I put in last year died.  OK, maybe I should have watered them more…

~The Sea Oat grass I put in last fall didn’t even make an effort to come back.

Dead Mugo Pine
~With the early spring, I pinched back by false indigo too late and only had two blooms.

~The kids are as bad as the dog and big portions of my dianthus were sacrificed in a neighborhood game of capture the flag.

~I have aphids on my Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Japanese Beetles on my Basil, and squash bugs on my zucchini. The squash bugs on my zucchini were so bad, I had to pull all the plants out.    

It was the squash bugs that sent me to adding up my garden troubles this year.  With all these trials, I wondered why I keep trying.  

But I know ultimately it's because I love gardens. They bring me hope; hope for the future and that I can always do better. Every season is an opportunity to grow better and brighter. Next year I will be more vigilant, I'll cover my new fall plantings better, and I'll watch for bugs more attentively.

And Toby will be the wise old age of two.
Example of what the Gallagher Gardens look like in a good year