GUTS: A New Gardener's Acronym

It takes guts to garden under tough situations (GUTS).

Where we garden, whether it is on the edge of the Arctic Circle or the middle of the Mojave Desert or some place in between can make it tough to grow what it seems like everyone else is growing.

Our soil can make for a tough situation, too, whether it is because it is sticky, heavy wet clay soil that sticks to every garden tool that it comes in contact with, or an abundance of rocks that the shovel can barely penetrate without jarring us with each attempt to dig.

Or maybe the tough situation is that we have to plant the garden on a steep hill? Or in a flat area that floods and takes forever to dry out in the spring.

GUTS is when you go without rain for several weeks and have too many days of temperatures well above average. It’s gut wrenching to see how the plants adapt, or don’t adapt. In your gut you know that some plants will just simply have to be let go, to live or not live without your assistance with watering.

Often where two or more gardeners gather, the conversations turns to who has the most guts to GUTS. It’s not a contest I want to win.

Yes, it takes guts to garden under tough situations (GUTS).

Do you have the guts to do it?


  1. Yes, Carol, we have the guts and the GUTS! It is never easy, is it? Gardeners are tough! :-)

  2. No GUTS, no glory. The things that make my garden most challenging in the middle of summer (soil too well drained, yet full of clay), make for some great winter recoveries, such as the Lavender hedge and the purple-leafed Oxalis that made it through the winter in the ground. Dead plants mean more available space for all those new plants I want to try.

  3. I love this term, it's perfect for what we all must go through and think that no one else does.
    I have learned to go with the flow on our xeric gardening here in Colorado and pay attention to the different crazy areas in our garden beds.

  4. Well, if GUTS is Gardening Under Tough Situations, then I would have to say I have my share of GUTS!!! And I guess GUTS develop guts, right? Thanks for a great post, Carol! :)

  5. Enjoyed your post! Guts to do it again and again and again....etc. :)

  6. I can't not garden. Does that mean I have GUTS or OCD.

  7. Good acronym. Zone 5 is a tough one, much sympathy here. And the clay, I know that one from a lot of experience. Sometimes we push the limit of GUT by growing that which is not the hardiest or best suited. I have some Zone 7 plants that come back on occasion. It is fun to see them the following year. If we did not take on challenge and some hardship of weather, we wouldn't have as much to write about. I think trying new plants and new gardening practices is what gardening is all about. I get too board not finding fresh oats to sow. Good post and something to think about.

  8. This is the time of year when GUTS looms large in my life. And there are days when I question whether I have the intestinal fortitude to keep doing it. Most of those days I put on my gardening gloves and deal with it. Some, though, I hide inside and read!

  9. I know I have the guts to keep buying more plants, regardless of how many die on me from lack of rain. I don't give up easily:)

  10. We gardeners of Heath pride ourselves on our GUTS - because the mystique we enjoy here in the hills is of formidable weather. Wild winters with bitter winds. Of course, this summer brought heat and drought, but the weekend rains are soothing and encouraging right now.


Post a Comment

Comments are to a blog what flowers are to a garden. Sow your thoughts here and may all your comments multiply as blooms in your garden.

Though there is never enough time to respond to each comment individually these days, please know that I do read and love each one and will try to reciprocate on your blog.

By the way, if you are leaving a comment just so you can include a link to your business site, the garden fairies will find it and compost it!