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Making Mistakes

In the garden, it seems easier to remember that perfection is not the goal.


Last week I read a quote from Marcia Wieder. She said:

“Every single day, do something that makes your heart sing.”

So immediately I picked up my trowel and walked out into my garden. It really is my favorite place to be, and invariably my heart does seem to sing—along with the birds—when I am working among my flowers.

Not that I don’t make mistakes in my garden. I invariably do! But somehow none of the mistakes are not correctable, unlike my many non-garden related mistakes. For example, I sometime stand on plants in my rush to reach some other plant. But bruised plants, fortunately, are resilient and usually bounce back.

Sometimes in my eagerness to deadhead, I cut off buds as well. If they have stems, I can just stick them in a vase.

In the early spring I must confess, I am often premature in cutting back the bare stalks of shrubs that have not yet leafed out, such as hydrangeas. I know better and should wait for the leaves to show in order to distinguish dead stalks from ones that will leaf out and bloom later. But mistakes like these are not capital crimes. I just call them learning experiences.

In the garden, it seems easier to remember that perfection is not the goal.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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