Someone once told me that the definition of insanity is someone who keeps repeating the same behavior expecting different results. Saturday I was sure that once again I belonged in that category of the certifiably insane! Every year when I plant my flowers as small seedlings I promise myself that when they get a little bigger I will stake them up so they won't fall over and break off. You see, they don't need staked when they are small and the job has to be done after they grow for three or four weeks. Every year I have failed to get them staked before at least of few of them fall over, overcome by their own weight, a heavy rainfall or harassed by the wind. This year I was determined that was not going to happen. As I planted each one, I stuck a nice sturdy steak right beside it so it would be ready to tie to when the time came. My flower beds looked like a yard with big sticks poking up everywhere, but I knew those little plants would grow to cover those stakes. I placed a bag full of tying sting at the ready in the garage, ready for the day when they tying would be necessary. There would be no way I could make excuses this year for not tying up the flowers.
Early last week I looked at the flowers, especially the dahlias, which were heavy with foliage and buds and said to myself, "It is time you staked those flowers up." I put the sting and even a pair of sciccors to cut it with on the porch. Every day this week I walked by that bag of string and thought, "I will stake the flowers right after I _____(fill in the blank with plant the onions, pick the cucumbers, weed the lettuce, dead head the flowers or any number of any chores)". Saturday morning was a perfect morning to do the job but my husband began working on a greenhouse expansion project and although he didn't need my help, I thought it might be nice if I were near enough for him to call for me. I started weeding in the garden. The wind started to blow in the afternoon and so I told myself to quit weeding and go tie up the flowers. I went to the greenhouse and suckered tomatoes. That needed done too. I promised to babysit my grand children that evening and at 5:00 they arrived so I had to come in from the garden. As I walked up the hill to the house, I saw that the wind had done what wind does. It blows over and breaks off flowering plants. I quickly grabbed that bag of sting and with grandchildren in tow we frantically started tying up all of the flowers to my carefully placed stakes. I told the kids that we were on a rescue mission to save all of grandma's flowers. They thought that was neat and were respectfully sad when we discovered broken stems. All the while I was cursing my procrastination and wondering how I could once again have let this happen. In the end, only one dahlia was completely broken off and two others lost some major branches, but if I just would have tied them up earlier I would have lost none. Now I will never know what 'Heather Feather' would have looked like and the big dahlia in the wine barrel in front of the garage is half the size it was. I hope that I have learned my lesson and that next year I will not repeat this year's mistake, but then again I think I fit the insanity definition.