Calye’s Corner: Gardening Goals, Take 1-My Sad History of Gardening

Hey everyone! With the warm summer sun shining down on me, I have been stricken with a bug that bites me every single year—the gardening bug! Rich greens of leaves and shrubs, vibrant hues of flower petals, and the creeping vines and ripening vegetables and fruits. That is all well and good and sounds excellent, right? Yes! And no….

So, I always have these off-the-wall ambitions about gardening—not just something small, mind you. No! I am talking about a hand-built greenhouse and fenced in garden with every vegetable and fruit that you can think of that can be grown in Oklahoma! What the heck! Let’s throw in a fountain with some fish! While we are at it, let us make an aquaponics system, and then we can have fish whenever we like as well.

Logical me pipes up, “I do not even know how to skin a fish….”

Nuance! None of that matters! We can learn, and it will be great!

“Ok. But….I can’t garden.”


I try and fail. Over and over again. But, the dream does not die! I link this back to the fact that when I was younger, I fell in love with all of my grandmothers’ and aunt’s gardens. Let us not forget that my dad is a farmer/rancher. It’s in my blood, right? Well…you’ll see.

My dad was really great in handling my gardening fever. I remember we planted some tomato plants and a few short rows of sweet corn in the field beside our house. I remember being so excited when the tomatoes and corn ears appeared. As I recall, they were quite delicious. But, they did not last very long. I honestly have no idea what happened to them. Most likely, we just did not replant the corn the next season. As for the tomatoes, I know that somewhere along the way I stopped tending them (plants don’t need water that badly, right?), and I imagine they dried up. I have no doubt now that the only reason they survived in the first place was that my dad went out of the way of his super hectic schedule to tend the plants. Most likely things got too busy, and I neglected the watering…no more tomatoes.

Since then, I have tried growing flowers from seeds. Fail. They did not even get bigger than sprouts. (Probably watered them too much and not enough in altering time periods, sending the poor things into shock.)

I have also tried lilies. Fail. (I am fairly certain I did the exact same thing to them.)

There has been one brave plant that has entered my care that has not perished. That is a full schefflera plant that our family received upon my grandfather’s funeral a couple years back. I loaded it up in my pickup, reluctant to condemn such a lovely plant to a premature wilting. Nevertheless, it lit up my apartment for quite some time, and I was determined to keep it alive. I watered it diligently, and it did well for a time. Then, the leaves started to yellow and brown and fall to the carpet.


I had tried so very hard this time! Well, after doing research and talking to my mom, I realized that my poor plant had root rot. Too. Much. Water. What was wrong with me?!

Since then, I eased off on the water, and the schefflera has thrived! It is bigger than ever today, and I still have it! Hooray! It is possible for me to garden! Dreams do come true! (For those of you who don’t believe me, here is proof! Ha!) (Please, do not be distracted by my mini-bookshelf in the background filled with my to be read books. It will only make you want to add more books to your reading list, and that is what my reviews are for!)

Schefflera July 17

All of this got me thinking. Oh, no.

I can build that greenhouse with the garden and the aquaponics! Let’s add a grove of trees and a small vineyard. Grapes are good, right! Yeah!

So, I checked myself for a moment (still delusional), and I decided I would start with some flowers out front of my house in the mailbox planter. I got so excited! One day I got all set up and drove to Lowe’s to select my new project. There were so many to choose from, and just like a kid in a candy store I ran around like crazy, visualizing what life would be like if the plants were to come home with me. (Incidentally, I do the same thing in book stores and videogame stores.) Finally, I selected two East Friesland Salvia plants and a slew of lovely purple and white petunias and headed for home.

The next morning I got up early and set to clearing the mailbox planter and churning the soil with my fancy new spade. I got it all ready and dug a great big hole for the salvia. Soon, I had planted both and several of the petunias. Needless to say, I discovered that I had purchased waaaaaaay too many of the petunias. So, I ventured up the small hill to the flower beds lining the front of the house and dug and dug, planting flower after flower until I had finally run out. They looked great! I was dedicated! This was going to work!


Gazebo, veggie garden, aquaponics, and vineyard here I come! (Right?)

Stay tuned to Calye’s Corner to find out what happens in more gardening goals!


5 thoughts on “Calye’s Corner: Gardening Goals, Take 1-My Sad History of Gardening

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