It’s okay to start over again, even in the garden

Published 4:58 pm Monday, June 3, 2024

I had a vision, but now I am almost ready to throw my hands up.

At the onset of spring, I spent a bundle of money on plants — mostly seasonal annuals — and planted them in pots around my back patio. I also got a wild hair to dig up the yellow irises in one of my flowerbeds in the backyard. These perennials had not bloomed well in the last couple of years and they were also spreading like wildfire, crowding out the space and making it impossible for me to plant anything else.

These were projects that didn’t seem that daunting, especially since the guy I hired to help in the yard took care of digging up the irises. Hubby helped out too. He went and picked up my dad’s tiller and together the men had my flowerbed ready for me to plant whatever my heart desired.

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Well, whatever I thought would make it in the blazing sun. Our backyard is void of any shade.

I was terribly excited about this new project and couldn’t wait to get my hands in the dirt.

So for this undertaking, I decided to start out small, but not because I wasn’t ready to see a flowerbed full of colorful plants. Remember, as I said earlier, I had already spent a lot of money on flora, and I thought it better to dial back the spending.

Of course, this past weekend while I was visiting baby girl, I helped her with a yard project and forked out a few bucks to help pretty up her yard. Oh well.

Anyway, back to my yard — for my newly tilled flower bed, I found a few plants at the garden center I knew would work in the space, since I already had them in another flowerbed and for the first time I decided to try planting petunias in the ground.

I had never attempted to do this before. I usually put the annuals in pots, but I had seen some flowerbeds on Instagram that had petunias, so I thought I would give them a try.

Thanks to the bed prep, it was easy planting and once I had gotten everything all tucked into the ground, I spread out pine straw for protection and to help keep the weeds at bay.

For about a week, when I came downstairs to get my morning coffee, I ogled over my yard. Everything seemed to be growing and looking beautiful.

But that all came to a halt when I noticed that weeds seemed to be popping up everywhere in my newly tilled bed.

I was dismayed at the work this would require, but I set out to eradicate them as soon as possible. So, with hat and gloves in hand, I marched out to take care of those little boogers only to realize it wasn’t weeds at all. It was hundreds of little baby irises that had popped up literally everywhere.

I was mortified. It was as if a creepy horror film villain was coming back to haunt me.

Not knowing what I would need to do to take care of this calamity, I once again set out for the garden center. I needed some advice, and I needed it from an expert.

Libby Beard, owner of the Flower Center, told me what I needed to do to help kill off these creepers and I set out to follow her instructions.

The only problem was there were so many baby irises, some of the weed killer got on my new plants and now as I watch the irises brown up, so too are my new plants.

And if this was not enough of a bummer, a few days later after I had fertilized and sprayed neem oil on my pot plants. I walked out to dead foliage.

What the heck is happening?

Talk about a horror flick.

I felt so defeated; so much so, I even told hubby I was done with gardening.

But after some soul searching, I have decided not to give up. Those baby irises, though I still want them gone, have made me think about life and sometimes you just have to keep going, even if you have to start all over again.

Terri Cowart Frazier writes features for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at


About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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