Everyone needs a quiet place to work, whether it’s a comfortable room full of books and just the right music, or this handy work bench that’s tucked away in a shady spot. The bench has a shelf below the tabletop that’s perfect for storing clay pots, assorted bags of dirt and random gardening doo-dads.  The tabletop itself is just the right height for jotting notes in a gardening journal, starting seeds, and scheming next steps for one’s little backyard plot.

Today’s lesson from my neatly arranged square foot oasis: Knowing when to hold ’em, and knowing when to fold ’em. For all the good intentions, for all the elbow grease, for all the pretty pictures you take of this or that plant that seemed to flourish, things go wrong. Sometimes you can fix it with a nip here or a squirt of an organic spray there.  Sometimes you recognize that if you don’t yank that plant right down to its roots and soon, you could be in a lot of trouble. That’s where we are today: root yanking, knowing when we’re licked, quietly accepting that starting fresh is a must, scheming next steps.