Monday, June 3, 2013

Learning My Gardening Mistakes the HARD Way

Today was a sunny June day but with a very cool wind. We have been getting quite a bit of rain so I thought I'd pull some weeds..I found they came out easily. I keep all my plastic bags that I buy Triple Mix, Top Soil and Container Mix in, then put my weeds in them..every week or so hubby takes all the bags to the town dump..some weeks I fill a lot of bags..

I try and have a plan as I get distracted very easily. If I leave the spot I'm working on and see weeds somewhere else, off I go and might not get back to my original's getting worse as I get older and hubby often teases me about keeping on track. I eventually get everything done I want to do but it's certainly not in a straight line from A to B...

I started working around our fish pond this afternoon and as Iooked to the left or right in our lawn I saw weeds that needed pulling..well they aren't actually weeds but these plants don't belong in our lawn. Both these offenders are mistakes I made in my early gardening days which are still following me..

One of my friends once said she hated forget-me-nots..she felt they were just an unwanted weed. I tended to disagree with her, both hubby and I loved the tiny blue flowers in the as the few I  had spread, I'd thin them out and transplant them in some flower beds as a border. Then I found some white ones and cherished them so spread them about for the past 6 or 7 years I've been digging them out of the lawn each summer! I think they are still lovely but they will never stay where they are put and are very prolific..

As I dug up an overabundance of violets that grew at one end of the fish pond I thought of how much I love the three shades of violets I grow outside, deep purple, white and a deep rose..but then agonized over what a nuisance they about producing rapidly and they too are all over the lawn. Even when most weeds pull out easily in damp soil, violets have a good sized bulb and root which nearly always has to be dug I was very aggressive in removing at least half of them around the reality I should really remove them all. But they are so lovely in the spring.

Another spring plant that doubles and triples itself is the iris. I am a huge fan of iris so just dig up and split them over time, adding them to different flower beds around the yard. I can see they need splitting badly again but my neighbour's daughter who has started gardening with a vengence will take any extra plants I have. She lives out in the country and each year just keeps adding to her gardens. She told me one day she wants her gardens to look like mine...mine took twelve years or more to get where they are now..I know she looks forward to how my plants are so thick, it's hard to see the weeds! But there comes a point when some thinning out is required. Mulching helps to hide a lot of gardening sins also..

I've decided this year I'm not such a big fan of annuals as I used to be. Some summers are so hot I'm constantly trying to remember where they all are so I can water them 2 or 3 times a day..I have so many different perennials now that something is nearly always blooming so I didn't put annuals in two planters I usually hang over the front deck railings. Maybe I'm just getting plain lazy. I never thought I'd ever say this but maybe I have too many flowerbeds. Perhaps rethinking the back yard is in order, turning some areas back into lawn.

I've found with my 2 year old granddaughter coming most weekends throughout the summer that no gardening gets done. I'd much rather play with her anyways..  So that leaves five week days but with housework and friends inviting me out for a coffee or going uptown to do errands, I don't always get to spend as much time as I need outdoors gardening. It is a real joy for me to garden, I don't regret a minute spent in my all the weeds in my lawn that is another story...

I told hubby today in areas we just reseeded in our lawn that the weeds are very thick..and I believe the weeds are coming from the top soil we buy. Sometimes we see a sale on top soil for a dollar a bag and I've decided it's no deal after all..I'm trying to convince hubby that where we planted the new grass seed is where the weeds are the no more cheap soil, it's the more expensive triple mix from now on..

I asked one of my neighbours if she knew what the new weed was I was fining in my lawn and hers...she had no idea but said at least it's green! At one time we had the greatest, thickest green lawn, I was so proud of it..but year after year with the moles doing their thing over the winter, the grubs and the hot, dry summers, it's getting harder and harder to repair...our neighbour is trying hard to repair his lawn too and after buying a whole truck load of triple mix and working so hard for days to repair  and reseed it,  said this is his last year to do it..too much work, next year if need be he will buy sod..sounds like a great idea to me too..

I love my two sand cherry bushes but they don't like our harsh winters..I dug one up last year and two more will have to be dug up this summer..another gardening mistake. But that is how we gardeners learn by testing limits and also doing the tried and true thing. Each year brings mistakes but also many glorious victories. After all it's gives me so much pleasure to hear hubby say: " I'm going outside for awhile to wander around and survey the estate!"