A Letter to Me
Dear Younger Niki,
Just look at you. So excited about your new career choice (although you can always fall back on that history degree, right?) and just heading off to study horticulture. Guess what? You will graduate (with honors!), but there will be times (many, many times) that you will make mistakes in your gardens. That’s ok because every time you screw up, you’ll learn and maybe (just maybe, mind you), you won’t make the same mistake again. Here are some of your top doozies from the past decade:
- Shoddy garden bed preparation - This might be your biggest gardening offense. It’s true, nobody likes to dig up sod, but if you don’t take a bit of extra time to remove or smother grass before planting, loosen the soil well and amend with compost, your plants will pout. Possibly for years. So, to recap, the moral of this story is don’t skimp out on bed preparation because that little extra effort can make a world of difference.
- Don’t mess with goutweed - Who on earth thought it would be a good idea to plant goutweed. Ever? Anywhere? And why do some nurseries still sell the plants as ‘hardy perennials, great as a ground cover.’ Yikes! When you see a little goutweed sprout pop up in your newly half-assed dug garden bed (and you will, circa 2007), don’t ignore it for a few months. Pull it out immediately and stay on top of it.
- Stop overbuying, start planning - You start off with the finest of intentions. You order plants from your local garden club, stop (accidentally, of course) at every garden center you see and even sow a few dozen flats of seeds under your grow lights each spring. Unfortunately, life interferes and before you know it, you are overwhelmed with too many plants and no time/spot to plant them! Admit it, you have a habit of overbuying plants (who, me?) and the end result is that they languish in the driveway for months - yes, months - before you finally find a place for them. The solution? Think before you buy - go to a site like Proven Winners where you can find plenty of container recipes, as well as garden inspiration, so that you get exactly what you want!
Younger Niki, I hope you consider these gentle warnings, not discouragement because you will also have many successes in your gardens. In fact, 2012, will be the year that your container gardens were absolutely out-of-this-world! Of course, much of the credit should go to Proven Winners, but they don’t mind if you take all the glory for the dazzling combinations of flowers and foliage like Snow Princess® Lobularia, Supertunia® Sangria Charm Petunia and Superbells® Sweet Tart Calibrachoa.
PS - On July 11th, 2006 check that gorgeous rose for a bee before you stick your nose into it!
Older (but still gardening-obsessed) Niki
© 2012 Proven Winners, LLC.