Friday, December 2, 2011

Lessons Learned?

Do I really learn the lessons?  Because I seem to say I learned the lesson, but my garden shows I did not!  Take mulching, for instance.

I know that I need to mulch the beds.  Completely.  Not just half of them.  And yet, what do I do?  Half.  And the weeds take over.  And the plants could use a bit of insulation.  And it would be good for the soil for the mulch to break down.  And I know all these things, but yet...  I guess I'm just lazy.

And the vegetable garden!  I know I'm supposed to start my fall garden in summer.  When it's hot.  And I can't imagine being out there.  But it's hot.  And I can't imagine being out there!  So, it doesn't get started and then fall comes - and I realize that I could have had a lot more vegetables if I had started my garden earlier!

When will I learn?  Obviously, not this year!  Maybe next year?  I guess there's always hope!

So, for PlantPosting's Lessons Learned meme for this quarter, I had to really wonder - what have I learned?  Anything?


Let's see.....

Let me think.....

Yes!  I thought of something!  Actually, a few things.

From this past spring.  I should have bought more of these!
I learned that buying fall bulbs in July, when they are on sale, is a good thing.  And so is picking up even more at the garden center.  And buying even more online because the July order might not quite be enough!  Actually, I'm not certain I could ever have too many bulbs!  Yes, I learned that I love burying that small piece of promise and anticipating the show in spring.

I learned that, even though I consider most annuals a waste of money, I love pansies.  It is worth placing and replacing their sweet, cheery little faces in the garden, as they stay happy all winter long, and that makes me happy.

Sky Pencil in background.  See how sad it looks?  And this is a 'good' one!
I learned that I need to quit buying Sky Pencil Hollies.  (We'll see next spring if I really learned the lesson.)  I always buy several, place them together, and then one (or more) die.  I don't know why a plant whose tall, thin, evergreen form I find so attractive and useful in the garden is so difficult for me, but I need to just accept it and move on.  Even if this plant seems to give no one else any trouble, obviously it has personal feelings of animosity for me!

I learned (and posted) that radishes re-seed easily.  Very easily.  Very, very easily.  And I don't need to have 20 radishes go to seed, unless I want 200 radishes coming up in the fall garden!  Oops!  That's one lesson I'll definitely remember!

So, I guess I did learn a little bit this quarter!  Imagine that!  I suddenly feel smarter!


  1. i'm with you on the bulbs and pansies...sooo much for so little with those!

  2. I'm still envious that you have Pansies all winter. I get you with the mulch though. It's backbreaking trying to do what needs done. I'm hoping with going to mostly shrubs that I won't need as much.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  3. The landscapers at my part-time job have been having trouble with Sky Pencil hollies lately... maybe it's not just you.

    I have a few annuals in a little pot by my parking area. I love the bright spot of color. Some snapdragons lasted all summer - under my potting table.

    One thing I have learned. I make notes in the back of my calendar for the time to do things next year - when I get the new calendar I transfer the notes over. Only way I can remember the timing sometimes

    I wish I had your luck with radishes. I guess I eat them before they go to seed. I have non for later...

  4. I am not a mulcher. I love to weed especially when the weeds get to be a foot or better tall. I think my biggest lesson I don't learn is to stop trying to grow things that just won't do well in my zone. Just keep spending the money on the seed and being disappointed. I am still waiting for a miricle I guess.

  5. "..burying a small piece of promise"...what a fitting descriptiion of bulbs! I keep planting seeds of Moonflower year after year, always hoping they will bloom in the summer months when I can enjoy them, but they usually bloom just before we have the first frost. I guess I am a slow learner in the garden!

  6. Daricia - It's nice to have something blooming in the winter, and something to look forward to in the spring!

    Cher - That's smart to go with shrubs. As time goes by, you will enjoy the garden more, and the easy maintenance of shrubs.

    Tufa Girl - That's encouraging to me that maybe it's not just me with bad luck and Sky Hollies. The nursery man couldn't believe I was having trouble with them - made me feel very inadequate! That's smart about having a calendar. Thanks for sharing.

    wilderness - Funny how some lessons we never learn! Just adds to the challenge!

    dorothy - My moonflowers are always late coming up, too. But they are such a gorgeous bloom, I certainly understand trying again and again with them!

  7. Lovely! I wouldn't mind to have 200 radishes, because I like to have it as snack. Just with salt and butter.... so yummy!

  8. Yes, of course you did learn many things! And you shared them with us! Thanks for joining in the meme--it will be fun to summarize all the lessons later this month. (You're fortunate to have Pansies blooming all winter long, by the way!)

  9. Oh I think you and I are learning the same lessons - I excuse myself from any fall garden work because it rains so much. Sadly I will be the one with hundreds of baby radishes next spring. I have a few plants I've bought over and over even though they are supposed to thrive in our area and mulch, oh gosh my garden beds are crying for mulch.

  10. Hi Holley - I'm with you on the bulbs!! The results are so rewarding, I can't wait to do it all again next year!

  11. Yes, always lessons to be learned it seems, and for me, more than just in the garden! lol Beautiful pansies - the photo almost looks like a watercolor painting!

  12. Dewi - I like radishes, but I don't love them, and this was too many for me!

    PlantPostings - I look forward to reading what others have learned, too. Maybe one day I'll be smart enough to learn from other's experiences!

    bakingbarb - Sounds like we are kindred spirits!

    GardeningBlog - I just love it when they come up. I don't mark where I put them, so it's always a fun surprise for me!

    charlie b - I can't decide if I like the pansies with the "faces" better or the ones without. But this blue kind was irresistible to me!

  13. Great lessons learned - pansies are a great addition to any garden (I particularly like icicle pansies which bloom even in the snow), planning the vegetable garden is always good and radishes should be thinned before they bolt and set seed. Thanks for the tips.

  14. A good time of year to think back about lessons learned. I have a written and a mental list of what to do and what not to do in the garden come Spring.

  15. I'm interested in knowing what kind of mulch you use (or half use !). At Botanic bay, we have planted a new hedge recently and it seems obvious that mulching is not an option, not so much against the weeds - what's a weed ? - and I sowed wild flower seeds all along the hedge, but mulching because it boosts the growth of the young shrubs.
    So any useful piece of advise ?

  16. Sounds like you learned quite a bit to me. Although regarding the hollies I would give it another whirl. I always try a plant a few times before I entirely give up, sometimes it just needs a new location or slightly different soil.

  17. Heather - The longer I garden, the more I realize there's so much more to learn!

    Kelli - You should write it down and join in the meme.

    Celine - I use pine straw, because we have pine trees and it's free! I've used several different mulches in the past, and it depends on several things. Pine mulch is good for weed suppression, which would not do well in your situation. As for mulching with seeds sown, there's a couple of things you could do. Mulch, but around the areas you have seeds, either don't mulch or mulch very lightly. Or you could mulch with compost. Make sure it's completely done, so that it doesn't burn the seeds, but they would love it! And it would fulfill your wish of boosting the shrubs' growth more than other mulches. Good luck!

    Marguerite - I do know that some died due to the drought, but it's still frustrating. If I didn't have them in 'groupings', I could tolerate it a bit more!

  18. I share your love of pansies. It's hard to say no when there arenso many colors. Kind of like roses that way. Great post.

  19. I might have almost learned about buying bulbs during the July sale, too--I've always waited until they hit the nurseries in the fall before, but my favorite local source ran out of a lot of things this year by 10:00 on the very first morning after their bulb shipment arrived. I'll be ordering more online next year, too! (Oh, the colors in that iris photo are gorgeous!)

  20. Half-done mulching and avoiding vegetable garden work in summer seems very familiar. I think someone not a million miles from here miaght not have quite learned those lessons either... But your positive lessons are very encouraging. A nice post to sum up your Autumn garden experiences.

  21. Oh Holley I seem to have to have remedial lessons for some of these too...even starting my fall veg garden in mid August is not early enough...I actually need to let my radishes reseed...I love them...and finally I have decided to let the leaves mulch my back gardens...without them, there is no mulch...I am too lazy and poor to replace mulch there...I love pansies and hope to grow my own from seed this are not a lazy gardener just one who has a few priorities that do not include mulch and hot veg gardening..

  22. visionarygleam - Oh, you're so right! Part of the reason pansies are so popular I bet is because they come in so many colors. They would go in anyone's garden. For me, it's hard to decide which color to choose - I usually get a mixture of them!

    Stacy - Wow - they ran out of bulbs fast! I bet they'll be stocking a lot more next year! I order in July because it's so hot here, I'm usually stuck inside at that time. What better thing to do than order plants and bulbs online?

    Lyn - I like this meme because I have to really think - and in thinking about what I learned, it solidifies the lesson. At least, I hope so!

    Donna - What makes the part about my not mulching the entire garden so bad is that I have free mulch! I just need to go out there and do it, but I find it a boring job, so I procrastinate. Even though I think the garden looks so beautiful freshly mulched. I've never tried growing pansies from seed - what a fun winter experiment! Good luck!


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