Updated: Mar 9, 2022
We live in a world where instantaneous gratification is promised, packaged, and delivered on a daily (if not hourly) basis. Look at any ad campaign and you will see thinly veiled promises of instant gratification: before and after photos of weight loss, HGTV programs where you an see an entire house re-done to perfection in less than an hour, and don't even get me started on Pinterest and Amazon Prime!
I get it, I love all of the above mentioned forms of instant gratification. Nearly every time I go on vacation in recent years I've bought some random plant online while waiting for my plane home (went to California and bought two olive trees, just got back from Costa Rica and am waiting for my baby pinapple plants to arrive). Somehow the buying of those plants, in that moment, made me feel like I had the power to extend my vacation, to bring part of it home and into my everyday life.
What I didn't think about in those moments of gratification was the amount of time, and dirt, and water, and space, those plants would need in order to live in my arid climate--now I have two olive trees in giant terra cotta pots that I get to move in and out of the arboretum each year (yes we have a climate controlled room for trees, that we built, after I bought too many non-native plants while on vacation: lemon, orange, hibiscus, olive, bougainvillea, and now...pineapple).
I mean, how could I not with the tiny pink pineapple (and they produce purple flower petals!) Coming to all flower arrangements from Petals... in 3-4 years...which is how long it takes for the plant to start making fruit. See what I mean about delayed gratification? I will be nurturing these baby pineapple plants for YEARS before I get my own tiny pineapple (but if you want one before that, I do have a source to gratify your instant need for baby pineapples).
Pineapples aside, I am getting better about my impulse plant purchases and in the dark months of winter I now remember that every single bulb, tuber, and seed I buy will have to be dug (by hand, by me) into my dense clay soil (by me) and lovingly tended (by me) BEFORE they resemble those beautiful, showy flowers taunting me from my phone screen. But when they do bloom, they will have been grown BY ME and totally worth it.
If you want to jump on the delayed gratification garden band wagon this year, now is the PERFECT time to get started! Last month I bought all my seeds (here's a post on where to buy seeds and one on how to get started on indoor seed starting) and this month I started putting those seeds into soil, in 4-6 months I will have hundreds and hundreds of flowers! February is also when I pull my hundreds dahlias out of storage and get them potted up, many of these plants won't produce until August, but man are the worth it! (Here is an article on how to grown your own dahlias and and here is one on how to split and multiply them.) Want more help getting your garden started? Last year I hosted a seed starting workshop where each participant left with their own windowsill greenhouse full of 12 seedlings of their choice, ready to grow! Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) about setting up a garden starting workshop for you and your friends (friends, flowers, and food? Yes please!)
Too busy getting that beach bod or remodeling your house (or getting that beach bod while remodeling your house) to start your own garden but want flowers and want them NOW?!?! I'm also here to help with that! March flower subscriptions go out the 6th and they are going to be STUNNING!
Thanks for reading, sending you much gratification, both delayed and instantaneous.