I, fortunately, have no major embarrassing garden moments to
speak of, but I have definitely made some mistakes over the years. At the time,
these caused me some embarrassment, especially when witnessed by other “expert”
gardeners. Now, though, I realize they were just part of the learning process
and that choosing the right plants for you garden is important for a reason. It
not only saves you from lots or work but heartache too.
Gardening is an activity that cannot be learned solely from
books. You have to get out in the dirt, try things, fail, and try then again.
Garden Fail – Buying the Wrong Plants
I can’t count how many times I’ve bought plants that were
inappropriate for my garden or my house. A large ficus
died a slow and sad death in my house before I learned that they really need to
be outdoors in a tropical setting to thrive (if you’re not able to provide
these conditions inside).
One year I bought Icelandic
poppies for a perennial bed, based simply on the fact that I liked how they
looked. They died. Every time I made this type of gardening error, I felt
embarrassed that I hadn’t done my research. Well, I do now. And I have a much greater
reservoir of general plant and gardening knowledge.
When Plant Choices for Gardening Go Bad
There was one unforgettable moment in the garden that occurred
the year I proudly bought and planted five hydrangeas.
It was a big investment and I was excited about it. I have always loved
hydrangeas and have long admired them in other gardens. I even had green
hydrangeas on my wedding cake.
I wanted to anchor one large bed in my new garden with my
favorite flowering shrub, so I got the hydrangeas and planted them all in one
long, tiring day. The very next morning, looking out the window to admire them,
there was nothing to see. I was literally in shock, and heartbroken!
I ran outside to figure things out, half expecting to find
holes in the ground as if there were a hydrangea thief in the neighborhood.
What I saw, however, was a few scraggly stems left over and a few piles of deer
pellets. Yep, the deer had found my lovely hydrangeas and decided to make them
dinner. A little bit of research told me that hydrangea is a bit of a deer
delicacy. And our area is overrun with deer, which I knew already. Lesson
Even though I made this and a few other mistakes, guess
what? I’m now a better gardener for it.