Life Lessons From the Garden

Powderpuff in all its glory

All of sudden it became clear, and, sometimes we need reminding in the most unusual of ways. My garden reminded me of a few life lessons this past month. It’s summer time and not uncommon to go out of town for a few days. It had rained every day before we left. I thought it would continue to rain at least once or twice while we were gone. I moved my potted plants to a shaded area of the yard and wished them well. It appears the rain followed me to my destination; and, left my garden arid of water.


When disaster strikes
Powderpuff tree a few days after taking off all the crunchy leaves

Upon arriving home, I could hear the “Uh Ohs” coming fast and clear from my husband, and a “that doesn’t look so good.” My jaw dropped as I ran outside to check on my favorite plants. I felt flustered. What have I done? How could this have happened? I had planted a Pink Powderpuff tree in a large container, that was in full bloom. It was glorious. I came back to all the leaves brown and crunchy, like the sound of cereal being stepped on. My Lantana standard was the same. My New Guinea Impatiens was stuck to the side of the pot. I felt betrayed. How dare they die on me! I thought, well, I’ll just buy some different plants and replace them.


Desperate measures
Signs of new growth after cutting back hard my Lantana

In the mean time I trimmed them back hard and watered them. It was like a science experiment at this time. I had nothing to loose in those days, until I had the time to purchase other plants. After a few days: new leaves emerged from the Powderpuff tree; my Lantana did the same; my Impatiens took a bit longer, but the same thing happened. I had new sprouts, new life. Now I felt foolish, having given up on them so soon. We were working as a team. I watered and checked on them daily; and they gave me new growth.



Life lessons from the garden
Coming back to life

The realization was sudden. I smiled and thought “wow” plants are just like us. Thats the moment the lessons became clear. The first was patience. These plants needed me to stop hurrying them along. Not everything is going to fix itself overnight. It’s hard to remember that the best part is the journey. Second, was to give your self time. Time to heal and time to shine. Some plants need more time than others to shine. Lastly, just like we have to nurture our plants with water and nutrients; that nurturing effect is the same for us. By being kind to yourself for any mistakes you have made, and don’t beat yourself up for the small stuff. In the end, I didn’t purchase new plants. I appreciated more the ones I brought back to life.

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Posted: September 4, 2020

Category: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Home Landscapes, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Backyard, Landscaping, Lantana, Master Gardener, New Guinea Impatiens, Pink Powderpuff, Water

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