Why should we settle? There are many reasons why most of us do. We compromise or we accept the lack of one thing for the abundance of another thing.

I settle all the time, especially in the garden. Part of it is being too busy or being too lazy. Part of it that my particular terroir cannot provide the conditions for the types of plants I might want to grow or the desirable wildlife I’d like to attract. Part of it is deliberate—I accept the limitations of certain plants because I love what they do provide. An example would be the David Austin ‘Lady of Shalott’ above; the DAs are nowhere near as floriferous as other rose brands, but I love their complex forms and diverse fragrances, which I do not find in newer hybrids. I’m happy to settle for the two or three blooms I’ll have at this time of year, from this and my other DAs.


Downtown Buffalo is not the perfect place to attract the migrating warblers or other Big List birds I’d like to have at my feeder (with some exceptions), but that’s fine. I settle for chickadees, cardinals, junkos, and woodpeckers. I can’t deal with refilling and cleaning hummingbird feeders as often as required, so I settle for planting salvia and agastache and enjoying the visits of the few who find and enjoy these plants (one shown above).

It would be great if I was a really good perennial gardener and took care to cut back my tall rudbeckias (and other such plants) in hopes of more and sturdier flowers, but I just forget or can’t be bothered. I love them just the way they are.  If I kept deadheading, I’d be enjoying zinnias and a few other flowers until the end of October or longer, but I am done. What you see is what you get.

There are areas where settling should not be an option, but we’ll get to those another time.