Saturday, July 22, 2023


Are you an optimistic person or inclined to be a pessimistic person.  Or maybe you are realistic: having a sensible and practical idea of what can be achieved.  I have to admit to being the eternal optimist.

optimism: noun- Cambridge Dictionary:  the quality of being full of hope and emphasizing the good parts of a situation, or a belief that something good will happen. optimism is all about seeing the bright side of things.  If you think it's going to be a great day, even though the bills are due, you lost your wallet, and you forgot your lunch, then you're full of optimism.

optimism at my house: planting a minimum of 20 tomato varieties in hopes of growing the perfect variety for Central Oregon.

Maybe you are more of a pessimist.

pessimist: noun- Cambridge Dictionary: a person who thinks bad things are more likely to happen or who emphasizes the bad part of a situation.   If the world can be divided into those who see the glass half empty and those who see the glass half full, the half-empty crew are known as pessimists--they always see the worst.

pessimist at my house:  the word is not allowed to be uttered.  Neighbors, on the other hand would repeat the age-old narrative--"You can't grow anything in Central Oregon."

The optimist spends much of the winter months studying the seed catalogs, looking for the best vegetable varieties, best pollinators, and perennials that will benefit the wildlife and then drawing out a plan to follow.

The pessimist is more apt to spend the winter reading the current mystery.  The thinking in the spring when bugs start attacking plants and wildlife finds pleasure in tasting all the expensive landscape materials, is that there is bound to be a chemical spray that will solve the problem.

The optimist plants their garden according to the soil temperature, not by the date on the calendar.  Some years the planting may be as late as the end of June before the soil temperature shows being consistent over a week's time.

The pessimist will plant according to the time-honored Memorial Day weekend which is highly observed in the mid-west states and then be shocked when we experience a frost.  Many think it is too much trouble to learn new garden procedures.

The optimist will take a deep breath and appreciate the wildlife in their backyard in the middle of the city.  How can you not appreciate a fawn testing his taste buds, and yes, spitting out a plant you had hoped to see bloom.  That's why you buy or grow several and protect them with a wire or bird netting enclosure.

To the pessimist, there are sprays that can be applied that act as a retardant for deer.  Exclusion, using wire cages or the bird netting enclosures, would be good methods for rabbits and other small animals.

I have been keeping a journal of famous garden sayings that have been inspirational to me.  I added one today, "If you have a Garden and a Library, you have everything you need." Marcus Tullius Cicero.

I reread one of my favorites from Ruth Stout.  "If every day was exactly what we would order, life would become too, too serene, predictable, and without much challenge, even dull."

We need to keep that in mind.

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