Plants Dying? It’s Part of The Adventure

Feb 23, 2016 | Gardens

If everything you did was a sure thing, how satisfying would that be? Isn’t part of the fun in trying new pursuits and activities not knowing how they will turn out? In many ways, being unsure about an outcome makes our efforts more of an adventure.

Garden geeks have always been interested in pushing the limits. We want to grow plants that aren’t quite suited for our region. We’re attracted to unusual colors of flowers and foliage, and we love quirky stems and botanically challenging varieties. And since Nature has the controlling hand in our landscapes, watching the wild cards she deals is an endlessly fascinating part of the process.

Of particular interest is the fact that in the natural world, as well as our gardens, plants often succeed against all odds. They want to survive, and frequently do so despite impossible growing conditions (those weeds that thrive in a slim crack in the cement) or our attempts (purposeful and not) to kill them.

What does this mean if you’re creating outdoor environments? To me it indicates that we can take a deep breath and relax already. What’s the worst that can happen? Some of our plants will die. Most of us are not depending on our landscapes for the total of our winter food, so we have the luxury of watching with wonder and enjoying the adventure.

When I was walking the dog in a local conservation area, I saw this self-seeded Rhododendron. It had sprouted on top of a moss-covered log. Will the log rot fast enough in order for the rhody to put roots in actual soil? Probably. But the fact that this seed germinated in the "wrong place" to begin with, yet is doing so well, is a demonstration of the resiliency of plants.

When I was walking the dog in a local conservation area, I saw this self-seeded Rhododendron. It had sprouted on top of a moss-covered log. Will the log rot fast enough in order for the rhody to put roots in actual soil? Probably. But the fact that this seed germinated in the “wrong place” to begin with, yet is doing so well, is a demonstration of the resiliency of plants.

 

1 Comment

  1. Marianne Willburn

    It is an adventure! And eye-opening to see where Nature will put self-seeders in the landscape – particularly those you’ve wrestled with in “better” spots. Great post – terrific photo!

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