Accidents happen, over and over again

I did not accidentally buy these pansies.
I have no idea why more gardeners aren't talking about the many accidents that take place in garden centers, nurseries, big box stores, and even the grocery store.  I have even heard about, and have personally experienced, accidents that take place while  shopping on line for seeds, plants and even old gardening books.

Certainly garden center owners and other retailers aren't talking about these accidents. In fact, there is evidence that they may actually be encouraging these accidents.

I am, of course, talking about the accidental purchase of plants, along with seeds, bulbs, tools, and even old gardening books, that every gardener experiences at least once, if not dozens of times, in their lives. 

As with most accidents, we don't expect them to happen.  We wake up on a pretty spring day and decide to skip on down to the local garden center, whistling a happy tune, to buy some onion sets to plant in the vegetable garden.  Then, without warning, there is a display of the prettiest violas we've ever seen blocking our path to the cashier. We stop. We slow down. We know we have entered a danger zone. We try to be careful, alert, cautious. We try to think and not just react.  But the accident happens anyway.

Yes, we accidentally buy the violas.

Sometimes it is just a little accident, and we buy just one or two violas. Or other times it is a big accident and we are forced to go get a cart and accidentally buy one or two or three flats of violas. 

Once we get home, we may try to hide the accidental purchase from others, like a person who accidentally twists their ankle and tries not to limp.  Or we deny it was an accident, telling everyone that we actually intended to buy all those violas, even though we already had violas everywhere in the garden. 

We have these accidents over and over again. Yet no one is talking about them, writing about them, or doing one darn thing to prevent them.  I've observed them for myself among a wide range of gardeners from coast to coast, including Leslie,who has had many accidents with succulents;  Dee, who can trip over a rose or daylily without warning; Gail,who has had more than one fall over wildflowers; Frances, who has many paper cuts on books by Piet Oudolf;  Layanee, who lately has had accidents related to fairy gardens for her granddaughter;  Cindy, who has had accidents involving metal garden art both at the garden center and in her own garden;, Kathy, who has tripped on more than one colchicum bulb; and Mary Ann who almost needs a bodyguard to help her avoid accidents at her local garden center.

I myself will admit to accidents involving plants, seeds, bulbs, gardening tools, especially hoes, and old gardening books.

Most gardeners recover quickly from these accidents, which is good, based on the number of such accidents that happen.  But we never learn to be careful. It is never safe.  Conspiracy theorists think that those doing the selling of plants, seeds, old gardening books, new gardening books, gardening tools, bulbs, pots, greenhouses, etc. are actually looking for new ways to make these accidents continue to happen.

Plants are arriving daily in the garden centers as Spring arrives.  Fellow gardeners, please be careful. Accidents can and will happen.  Learn to recover quickly, and be ready for the next one.


  1. Chuckle. Oh, I fall for much more than daylilies and roses. This week, I tripped over some Itoh peonies.~~Dee

  2. The accidents involving plants have been many lately. Garden art, not so much. But it's antiques week in Warrenton and that almost certainly portends an accident involving rusty stuff.

  3. I seem to have a lot of accidents at Odyssey Bulbs and Daffodils and More.

  4. HA, accidents happy to so many gardeners, we need to up our insurance! Thanks for the linkage, dear Carol!

  5. hahaha! I'm so glad I'm not alone in this! So very true!

  6. Haha! I accidentally bought violas this week, too. :)

  7. I accidentally bought a few things from Woodlanders this week.

  8. Oh My!! I have to admit I had an accident just yesterday! A group of us went to a wholesale nursery in McMinnville, TN. I had my list prepared well in advance. I tried not to look at plants that weren't on my list...but they were calling to me...Christy...come look at us...we are so beautiful...we would love to go home with you! Of course, they won out and I have 311 new plants waiting in my garage. All of them are out there smiling!!

  9. I have accidents all the time in garden centers. LOL!

  10. Accidents! Nonsense!

    Those little 2 and 3 dollar pots of succulents Jump into my cart all by themselves.

    Who am I to turn away such determined plants in need of a good home?

  11. My accidents are usually tomato plants when I already have enough. This year I just know I'll buy more (after all I can't resist going to the Garden Faire, or the FFA sale!) even though I have more than I need sprouting in the house! I just want to try one more and one more and one more new variety!

  12. Oh, I love this! My accidents vary with new obsessions. Yes, I am fickle, but I seem to fall in love with something else each year. And, what's worse, my local supermarket (VERY local, since the owners are a local family) has close to nursery-quality plants and a lot of them. This year I think my accidents (at least for the next few weeks) will be Columbines.

  13. Gardeners are rather accident prone breed you know!
    My car is also very accident prone - the indicator accidentally signals a turn and the steering wheel accidentally turns into the entrances!! No matter how hard I try to avoid these accidents - they just keep happening!

  14. I'm so glad that I am not alone in this..

  15. Ah, now that explains a lot. I thought I was just lacking in self control when all of those plants kept jumping into my cart. Actually, I usually proclaim that the plants jumped into my cart of their own free will.


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