The Grow Write Guild

The Grow Write Guild is a writing prompt series (created by Gayla Trail) from You Grow Girl to help those of us who want to write about our gardens and our gardening experiences.

Every two weeks Gayla posts a writing prompt for anyone who wants to delve in and write. I’m a little late to the party but decided to jump in starting with Prompt #16 “Write something that feels scary and/or dangerous.”

Scary and dangerous are not words I would normally associate with gardening. Scary maybe, especially if you consider the lighter form of scared, nervous or worried. Have I been scared that my efforts would not turn out or scared that someone would judge my garden choices, sure, many times. However, most of the time I do not feel scared about my gardening experiences. I garden in and around my home and it’s my haven. I have certainly made mistakes and killed more than a few plants but that’s okay. So far no one has really judged me, at least not to my face, but many have expressed appreciation. I especially loved when my teenage daughter’s friends would comment on the beautiful gardens. You rarely get compliments from teenagers so that was cool.

Another part of Gayla’s prompt she says, “If you’re having trouble coming up with something scary to write about, try and let your mind wander to an experience you’ve had as a gardener that you felt ashamed, embarrassed, or badly about.” I’m sure we can all relate to that topic. Here goes: I feel badly that I cannot grow Echinacea, aka purple coneflower in my garden. I’ve grown it before, but in the ten years that I’ve been living at my current residence I am continually frustrated by my lack of success. Okay, there are some critters that appear to love it so much they get eaten. But, I have other plants in the garden that get nibbled upon and they still make it. I’ve tried spraying them with the ever powerful rotten egg repellant. It definitely helps but somehow the plants still do not thrive. Every year I plant a gallon pot in and around my walkway on a well-drained sunny slope. Last year I finally gave up. So yes, I’m embarrassed to say that I cannot grow Echinacea in a perfectly suited spot. So I’ve filled it with beautiful purple alliums that bloom early in the spring and later I have Rudbeckia hirta ‘Endless Summer’. Commonly known as Black-Eyed Susan this Rudbeckia variety loves the location and readily self seeds new plants for me every year.

So there’s my story. Check back in a couple of weeks to see what Gayla comes up with next, or for more information on all of Gayla’s prompts and the Grow Write Guild click here.


About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. Mary Minard says:

    Love, love your website! We casual gardeners need a place for good advice and great ideas without feeling intimidated and your site fits the bill perfectly.
    Your Echinacea “fear and shame” inspired me to come clean on my own dirty gardening secret — I can’t grow blue hydrangeas or any hydrangeas for that matter. There I said it. And I love them so much! The deer win every time, I’ve tried everything to keep them away from hairbrush hair to letting my boys pee on them. Any suggestions?

    • says:

      Deer are the worst! I have a friend whose husband hunts and I always joking tell him to come and sit in my dining room and he would get some great shots. If you have a little extra time you might try spraying the hydrangea early on with Liquid Fence. It smells really bad at first but once it dries you can no longer smell it but the animals do. However, you have to re-spray every few days especially after it rains. The hope is they will get tired of your smelly bush and leave it alone. Also consider the path in which the deer enter and/or exit your yard. Would another site be out of their range. Maybe something closer to the foundation would keep them away. So glad you are enjoying the website. Come back and visit again.

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