Each year brings new ideas of things I want to try in the garden. Sometimes the experiment ends with me wondering why I never did it before. Other times I have to ask myself why in the world I ever thought such a notion would work.
I take a walk through the garden in mid-summer with a pencil and pad of paper and make notes of things that are going well, things I want to change, and things I'll never be tempted to try again. I do the same at the very end of the season. Then in the winter when I'm planning my garden for next year, I go over my notes and make plans accordingly.
Today the blunders seem to be uppermost in my mind so I'll share some with you.
A while back I made a second planting of spinach and a third planting of radishes. (Or was it the fourth? I love radishes.) I planted alternating rows in a raised bed thinking the radishes would be pulled and out of the way before the spinach needed more room to grow.
Well, it was so warm the radishes didn't want to form. But the tops kept growing and growing and growing. My poor spinach got crowded out and in protest bolted when it was just a few inches high. What was I thinking?
My plan for this bed was to have a circle of red geraniums in the center with petunias surrounding the circle. I bought a whole flat of these insipid yellow petunias (what possessed me to make this poor color choice?), planted them too thickly and they have all but crowded out the geraniums that are hanging on to life by a mere thread. What was I thinking?
In another bed I had only enough red onion sets to fill the center of the bed so I planted each end with more of those blasted petunias interspersed with bright colored dianthus. Once again the petunias have over-run the dianthus and are trying to smother out the onions. What was I thinking?
Back to the woes of my supposed wild flower bed. It's nothing but 99.9% Bachelor Buttons that have grown so tall they are starting to topple over in the strong winds we've been having. The packet of seeds said the mix contained a variety of about 20 different flowers, only one of which (other than the Bachelor Buttons) has shown up. I do not have good luck with wild flowers. I really should have know better. What was I thinking?
This bed is usually the first one I see when I walk out into the garden. I like it to be full of blooming flowers. For several years I've planted it out to Sweet Peas and a Pot Zinnia that just blooms its little head off from early on to late in the fall. This year I got the bright idea to try something else besides the Pot Zinnias. The Sweet Peas are always slow to start blooming and the bush Asters I planted are huge with not one single flower bud in sight. So my colorful flower bed is one big bunch of monochromatic green foliage. What was I thinking?
Ugh. My California Poppies. I don't think I'll ever let them self-seed again. They were much too thick in the bed and although made a dazzling display for about two weeks, now are a bedraggled, ugly disaster. I think I'm going to pull them out and plant a little more judiciously by hand with new seeds next year. What was I thinking?
Lastly, here are my experimental potatoes planted in a raised bed, surrounded by a three foot high "cage" and mulched with straw. I evidently mulched waaay too heavily because I seem to have killed all the lush sprouted and growing potato vines in the center of the bed. Only the ones around the sides (and one brave one in the middle) are growing. What was I thinking?
Well, we live and learn, right? And in the process I seem to do some dumb things, too.
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