Lessons from Flowers: Don't be afraid to be different

Every time I step out into my garden, it teaches me a lesson.

Today's lesson from the flowers is don't be afraid to be different.

Different is the new black!

Different is the new green!

So what if none of the other neighbors grow vegetables? If you want to plant a big ol' vegetable garden and grow enough zucchini for yourself and the entire block, by all means, do it.

You might be different, but you will eat well all summer.

Who cares of the neighbors all have plain porches and stoops, with nary a spring bloom to be seen? If you want to plant two long boxes and four pots of violas and pansies on your porch, you should. And plant some in the window box, too.

You might be different, but you will smile every time you step out your front door.

Who cares if you were kneeling down with your broad backside in plain view of any one who walked by that fall you planted all those reticulated irises out front?  Plant in multiples of one hundred for the best show.

You might be different, but you'll have the earliest blooms in the neighborhood every spring. And no, it doesn't matter that the neighbors weren't even aware of the contest. You are different. You won!

Don't be afraid to be different. Don't be afraid to garden, to choose the plants you love, even if they aren't from the palette of ten plants, or is it five, that all the neighbors grow.  Beautyberry with purple berries? You bet!  Pawpaw trees in the back garden. Yes, naturally.  And a quince tree, too.

You are different. Good for you.

And don't be afraid to invite garden fairies into your garden, to share early blooms with the pillywiggins.  Chase after lightning bugs in the summertime.  Lay in the lawn and watch the bees in the clover.  Jump in a pile of leaves in the fall.

You'll enjoy the difference it makes in the joy you get from your garden.

Live the lesson of the flowers. Be your own gardener.  Don't be afraid to different.


  1. The Head Gardener and I are about as different as you can get out here in Katy, Texas ... and we think that is a very good thing!

  2. Oh I'm different all right. There are no other gardeners in my neighborhood, so I am definitely different. Once I sat on the ground, nearly laying down, while pointing my camera up at my flagpole, as to put my ornamental grass into the same photo. This is normal, right? I heard the neighbor's child say "Mom, why is she laying in the grass?" I simply hollered across the street (also normal) that I was simply trying to take a picture of my flag. So yeah, I'm different. Yeah me.

  3. Ha, I have some of those popping up here and there. Hmmm Must have been a conspiracy of the bulb people to make these clumps different.
    Different is good.

  4. It's still to cold here in the northeast for anything but the crocus and daffodils. I did plant some pansies for color in the front pots to help get in the spirit of spring - gardenfountainhome.com


  5. Now that's a rule I could follow...'dare to be different'. I never could abide the 3 or 5 color palette rule, or the one that says you must plant in groupings of 3 or 5. I believe true gardeners are often thought of as a little 'off' by their neighbors. _Janice

  6. It is a good thing to be different!

  7. I am the neighborhood oddball here in S. Georgia. I have 2 metal flying pigs, a bespectacled stone owl, a tin goat, a stone tortoise all watching over my garden. Not a boxwood, Boston fern, azalea, hydrangea or other ubiquitous "Southern" plant in sight. Cars slow down and people stare..I giggle and gleefully plant what catches my fancy...


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