Thursday, August 28, 2014

Things to remember next spring.

Summer is short here and this is the point in the growing season when I try to figure
out what went wrong and how to avoid screwing it up next year.  

It not a good idea to rely on the bunnies to prune the smokebush.

Even though Cotinus coggygria is the funniest scientific name ever  and it possesses
fantastic spring and fall color, it just gets too big and keeps the poppies from blooming.

I will not walk barefoot under the oak trees (Quercus Alba, another silly sounding name).

Don't pass up unique plants because they're too big to carry. I love peonies and there
were some beautiful dark rose plants at the Farmers Market this spring. Why didn't
I buy them when I had the chance?  Afterwards I looked everywhere for them with no luck!

Planing impatiens around the Elwood's pond is a thing of the past. This was early July...

and this was mid August. Downy Mildew is the culprit and it is everywhere now.
The water lettuce disappeared too, but that is a mystery yet to be solved.

On the bright side, the ones in the window box just a few feet away are still fine.
It's most likely due to the fact that they're off the ground and stay dry even when it rains.
That doesn't change the basic problem though and I'll miss those pretty colors.

Speaking of window boxes, last April this little lady was after a snack she'd buried in the
one outside my kitchen sink. A few weeks later she gnawed a hole in the facia of our patio
and raised a family in the space between the roof and the ceiling. They were adorable babies
but the patio now has a steel facia so she's going to have to look elsewhere next spring.

Cherry tomatoes definitely grow better in pots than the regular varieties.

Volunteer hollyhock do not succumb to diseases like the hybrid nursery plants or the ones planted from seed. There's no choice of color though I love the black and deep burgundy ones that started
coming up a couple years ago. Where they decide to plant themselves is not always perfect but they're easy enough to weed out. Can't be picky about details with healthy freebies.

False Indigo also needs support to stay upright and not flop over on top of the
foxgloves and catmint. This is in reference to the cages I forgot to put around them.

How did I forget to replant these? Some new ideas and an optimistic plan or two are all I need to
put current disasters in the past and look forward to next year. Honest. Chipmunks and squirrels
will always dig up the seeds and hide nuts in the planters, but there are things I can fix or remember to actually do next year. So what did you learn from your garden or do differently next year?

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