My grandmother was an avid gardener who inspired me, at age 14, to plant my first garden, a tiny patch in my parent’s backyard. I had little money, but a pack of seeds was cheap enough. I chose elegant foxgloves, and soon enough had big bushy plants popping up. Success!
Well, spring turns to summer, and while other’s gardens are past their prime, I still have no flowers. How could this be? They must be weeds and my seeds have failed. So I weed my garden, pulling these big, beautiful, but non-flowering plants.
Time goes by and I decide to read the back of the seed packet. Hmm, foxglove is a “biennial.” What exactly does that mean? It means the seed produces a plant the first year that goes dormant for the winter and comes back the next year to flowers brilliantly and reseed for the following season. My foxgloves were compost by that time, but this is how I learned about biennials.
Twenty years later I now have several successful gardens, continue make mistakes, and happily work in the industry. — Lydia, Granby, CT