My Gardening Faux Pas

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

20 May 2021

I’ve lived in my humble home for more than a year now and have finally reached the point at which I can plant my vegetable and flower garden. You might remember a couple months ago when I wrote a post about my seedlings. A few weeks after that, I wrote a post about sprucing up the area around my soon-to-be garden. Well, this past weekend my son and I went out and planted our many seedlings. The carrots, eggplants, grape tomatoes, snap peas, corn stalks, cucumbers, sunflowers, dahlias, gladioluses, and marigolds have all found their plots of dirt to thrive in. And I can’t wait to watch them flourish.

Learning as I Go

But as with most projects I’ve taken on as a first-timer, I’ve made a mistake. Well, so far only one that I’ve recognized, but I’ll keep my eyes open for more as my gardening journey progresses. I’m not worried though because as author Oscar Auliq-Ice reminds us, “You can learn a lot from your mistakes when you aren’t busy denying them.” And being the neophyte gardener that I am, I’m ready to learn!

Here’s my mistake: I inadequately labeled the watermelon, cantaloupe, and pumpkin seedlings. And they’re indistinguishable at this point in their seedling journeys. So, I’ve planted – what I’ve been referring to them as – mystery melons. The good news is that all three of those fruits love the same environment, but the bad news is I’m not sure what’s growing where. And while it may not seem like a grave mistake – most mistakes aren’t – I’ve learned to properly label my melons next year.

Letting Go

Now that I’ve learned my labeling lesson, I’m getting excited about my gardening faux pas. I’m not just growing regular watermelons, cantaloupes, and pumpkins. I’m growing Mystery Melons! As they grow, we’ll learn more about what they are. We’ll likely recognize the changes that come with each of our mystery melon’s development. And we’ll have a good story to talk about for years to come.

Some of life’s biggest successes happen after our greatest mistakes. And if we can move past denying their very existence with projection and deflection, we can learn much.

Growth can be mysterious at times, but it’ll also nourish us.