Essentially. But hope isn’t really necessary as esphome set’s the “successful boot” flag not right after booting (typically only a few seconds) but has kind of a “cool down” till it declares a boot “successful”. So just power cycle it like 10 times every 10 seconds should easily let you activate the safe mode.
But one thing you can even try even before activiting the safe mode is to just try to ota it directly:
So in that case if you have esphome locally installed (for example with pip) on your laptop you should be able to call:
esphome run garden_lights_front_1.yaml --device 192.168.30.121
from the terminal to verify, compile and ota upload directly to