I’ve always felt that having a garden is like having a good and loyal friend. – C. Z. Guest
I’ve really enjoyed gardening, and spending time in the garden this year. Although it started off like a battle scene from Saving Private Ryan with me against the onslaught of snails, the garden still came up trumps. But that’s not to say I didn’t make any mistakes. I did. I make quite a few of them every year. But you know what? I don’t mind!
Making mistakes is what gardening is all about. You can’t really learn until you’ve seen a whole crop get eaten because you forgot to cover it over or wonder why your chillies didn’t materialise because you kept them too cold. I was always mad at myself when I started gardening. Why didn’t I do that? Why did I forget that? Blah blah blah, kicking and beating myself up and getting more angry as the year went on. But come the next year I’d remember those mistakes, build on them, and find I’d excel in one plant or another.
In the end I realised you can plan and place everything in a garden to the smallest detail but it won’t stop you from making mistakes. Because plant’s can’t really be tamed and unless you live in a temperature controlled bubble you’re not going to be able to control the weather. Gardening is about learning. And there are so many things to learn, every day out there. So now I’m happy to make mistakes. And this week I thought I’d share some of mine with you.
My garden mistakes
Forgot to water a plant(s)
Yes, I do this. Sometimes the plant will even die. Other times I can just save it and then move to somewhere where I will remember to water it. Plants usually flower and produce better if they are on the wilting side of dry. That applies especially to chillies. But I will sometimes just leave it that bit too long and the plant starts to really suffer.
I don’t always sow to the right ratios, or in a line
I tend to get excited with a new packet of seeds and throw the whole lot onto the soil without a care only to discover that now I’ve got to spend the next few weeks carefully (because the seedlings are pretty delicate) thinning out.
I prune things I shouldn’t
This summer I was pruning the apple espalier and accidentally cut off a third from one of the arms. Now it looks wonky and uneven but at least it’s quirky. I’ll take another yr for it to grow another one.
I’m still no good at growing potatoes
I didn’t mulch my potato plants enough as they started to grow so consequently my crop was much smaller than it should have been. Seriously, it only really dawned on me this yr that as a tuber plant they grow up not down!
I still can’t grow lettuce
My lettuce, while a constant snack bar for any passing snails, hasn’t gotten bigger than the size of my finger. I’ve tried loose leaf and iceburg and neither grow well enough for me to actually use in a salad, either indoors or outdoors for me. I don’t know what the secret to growing lettuce is yet.
I bought sickly plants from a nursery
I was dubious at the state of them before buying them but I thought they might be a challenge. They weren’t. They had mould of some kind and pretty much all died on me.
I let my dog toilet on the lawn
Ssshhh! Don’t tell anyone. It’s supposed to be green(ish), right?
I forgot that hops had side-shoots
The hops in the garden have quite simply gone mad! How they are managing to stay up on a bit of string is a miracle. I should really have just gone with just two climbers rather than the five because now I can’t get out of the french doors and you get hit in the face by a bunch of hops every time you go out the kitchen door!
So you see, I make loads of mistakes. But I love gardening now more than at any other time. I’m growing with the garden and it’s teaching me new things every day.
Hope you have a great green week.