My lavender is dead.
As the Munchkins put it, “Really most sincerely dead.”
Some months ago, I wrote about my new plan for this strawberry jar, which had killed a lot of things for me, including strawberries. On the high of hubris, I figured that such water-conserving plants as iris and lavender would, finally, work for this pot, would make it beautiful and lush, would fulfill the dream that every gardener has, of making a little paradise.
I thought, in my happy little saint-of-the-plants fantasies, that I was the one who had finally worked out the terra-cotta-wicking problem to my advantage. That this brilliant solution, which nobody else had thought of before, would bring life where before there had been only death. I thought, in short, that I knew better.
I was wrong.
I might have been warned by the responses on my original post: most people had tales of strawberry-jar woe to relate. There was one benighted person desperate to find a strawberry jar; clearly this was someone who had never planted in one. The only success stories were of succulents, and one comment on success from someone who lives in a much wetter climate than I do.
Which leads us to the question: how did strawberry jars get to be so widely used in dry climates? Every discount store and garden store stocks them; they are featured in garden photos (in my area, most of them come from Mexico, so they are pretty, with incised designs).
And yet, a lot of us can’t grow a damn thing in them.
Was the inventor of strawberry jars a sadist, a misanthrope who saw a perfect opportunity to show gardeners that pride goeth before a fall, and a haughty spirit before destruction? Was it a misphyto, who wanted plants to die before they reached fruition? A purist who believed that plants should be wild and free, not contained? Or is it just one of those inexplicable fads, like pet rocks or back-combed hair, that keep rising time after time to the rhythm of human needs?
Why did I get so determined to make the strawberry jar work for me?
Maybe one of the best things gardening teaches us is that there’s a time to let go, change form; that none of us can mold nature to our will, only work with it. In the northern hemisphere, this time of year really brings that home.
So: everything passes. And, as gardening (and all of nature) remind us, everything rises again.
I’ll try the succulents.