Collection Notes

The Gardening Mishaps Collection

There’s only one solution to gardening mishaps—laugh about it and live to tell the tale.

Dear Gardener,

Mishaps happen. I don’t care if you’ve been gardening since that whippersnapper down at the big box plant store was in diapers, gardening mishaps are part of the deal. If you’ve got a little dirt under your fingernails or soil in your socks, you have at least a funny story or two about your garden.

That’s part of what makes gardening such a community event, though. We can come together and share stories about the time that bag of manure fell open in our car (not fun!) or the night we learned that yes, deer really can jump over a fence “that” high and eat the squash we planned on enjoying for dinner. It helps to commiserate and tell tales of flower failures, dirt disasters, and the occasional miraculous intervention.

In fact, that’s one reason we’ve gathered this collection of gardening mishaps. You’ll find more than 15 stories that find the humor and joy in the small and sometimes very large mistakes we make in the garden. In fact, writer Susan Barber shares not one but seven “ridiculous garden mistakes.”

One I think we can all relate to is her encounter with squirrels. We’ve all watched in dismay as squirrels have wandered off with our heirloom tomatoes, but Susan did something about it. With a mix of “extensive detailed plans” and spending “way too much money on a huge pile of PVC pipe and rolls of nylon netting,” she and her husband built a fool-proof tomato protection system. Only, it wasn’t quite fool proof. I’ll leave it to Susan to share the details of this and her six other gardening mishaps in her story “Susan’s Garden Misadventures.”

Sometimes, though, our gardening mishaps aren’t because of squirrels or weather or slugs. Sometimes our gardening mishaps are our own fault. That’s what happened when Madeline McEwen attempted to build a circular patio on her own – with no previous experience. Or tools. Or full instructions. Luckily, her neighbor was a retired contractor. But did Madeline really need her neighbor’s help? More importantly, why did he suggest that she tell her husband she did the entire project on her own? You’ll have to read “Did It Myself!” to find out.

That’s just a seedling of the gardening mishaps you can enjoy in this collection. So grab a cold glass of lemonade and get ready to laugh. And next time you make a big gardening mistake, let yourself enjoy a moment of hilarity.

Bill Dugan signature

Bill Dugan
Editor & Publisher


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