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Garden Talk: If you had your garden to do over again...

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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 24, 2009
12:20 AM

Post #7097542

what would you do differently?

Would you have planted more trees for more shade or relocated some to get more sun?

Planted less of one thing and more of another?

Installed more trellises/arbors for climbing plants?

Planted more deer/gopher/mole resistant plants?

Added a water feature?

Planted more "living fences" to block out views of neighboring properties?

Increased or decreased the size of your deck, courtyard or terrace?

Added an outdoor fireplace or fire pit?

Installed awnings?

I'd have made beds deeper but no more than 8' deep. I'd have made wider paths so two people could walk side by side to view the gardens. I'd have hidden all hose outlets.

While I love how the terrace came out I would have liked it about 2' wider at the end with the table.

Thumbnail by pirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

KaperC
No. San Diego Co., CA
(Zone 10b)

September 24, 2009
1:09 AM

Post #7097738

Almost all of the above, Pirl! We were in a hurry to get rid of the mud and dust on our bare lot, and had very little money. If I knew then what I know now...oh, the changes I would make. Given all that, we've done OK and now we'll start making some changes as we can. First off, replacing some of the gravel with concrete flagstones DH is making one by one, in place. We figure it will take about three years to do the terrace. LOL

Plant-wise, we've learned places where some things just will not grow and other plants that grow like crazy for us no matter where we put them.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 24, 2009
9:16 AM

Post #7098686

I cant imagine anyone who doesnt want changes.
#1 I would have waited a year to plant the Lazagna garden started this spring.
I would have planted the Lemon Wave Hyd. further to the left,now I have to move it.
I would not have put more than 1 Agastache Blue Fortines in one area now I'm hoping for crop failure.
The list goes on
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 24, 2009
10:53 AM

Post #7098755

You reminded me that my three hydrangeas, which have grown to 6' tall, should never have been planted where they are.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 24, 2009
11:41 AM

Post #7098815

If I had met you the first year I joined and realized how important a "plan" is I wouldnt be in this mess.
I guess thats what gardening is.
I recall someones on-line name was"Plantmover" teehee

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 24, 2009
11:43 AM

Post #7098819

This is the lazagna garden 6 months later
Its overcast here sorry about the dull pic

Thumbnail by ge1836
Click the image for an enlarged view.

pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 24, 2009
11:57 AM

Post #7098850

I really can't think of a mistake I haven't made.

You really think I started with a plan?! Tee hee.

Dahlias are where the onions once were.

More dahlias and lilies are where the baby daylilies once occupied all the space.

The garden viewable from the Master Bedroom and kitchen seating area has been done over at least five times. Only now that it has my Japanese irises am I happy with it but there's always room for improvement.
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

September 24, 2009
12:10 PM

Post #7098868

I did not want to have rocks or metal bordering my beds so I planted ophiopogon aka monkey grass as a "natural" border. Very pretty but if an area is too moist the MG is growing into the bed as a ground cover. Nothing too terribly wrong with that, except that MG is just tall enough (6") to serve as hiding for snakes. If I were to do it again, I would leave the beds sans borders and just fight the creeping grass w/weedeater or roundup.

Mind you, I have not seen a single snake slithering in/out of monkey grass, but I'm paranoid that way, lol. That's it. No other regrets; in fact, the rewards completely overshadow my monkey grass faux pas.

Last night as we returned from running an errand, the exhuberant aroma of night blooming jasmine, and brugs and sweet almond verbena and jasmine totally engulfed me. It felt like paradise, even in the dark. Words can't explain how rewarding that feeling was.

Thumbnail by vossner
Click the image for an enlarged view.

gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

September 24, 2009
12:10 PM

Post #7098869

My worst thing lately has been making beds too big and so crowded I can't get in there to work. Ah, the plight of the plant pig, LOL. If I could start over, I would have installed step stones from the beginning- it has to be something solid like that or I WILL plant something there. I know this, there's no fighting it.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 24, 2009
12:21 PM

Post #7098902

Vossner - I know that feeling from the lily garden in early July. Wish I could put the computer outside to just breathe in the air all morning long. Same with the rose garden in June. Would be nice if we could bottle it.

GS - That's a mistake I didn't make. I've add pieces of slate for mini paths though some paths are the typical sized slate pieces. I even plant some muscari in with daffodils to remind me it's not a vacancy yearning to be filled.
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

September 24, 2009
12:30 PM

Post #7098922

Oh yes, I'm bad for that too- not marking the location of daffs and other bulbs, LOL.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 24, 2009
1:00 PM

Post #7099013

narrow pathways is my mistake too.
i cant get in there with a cart
gardengus
Flora, IN
(Zone 5a)

September 24, 2009
3:01 PM

Post #7099335

I think I would place plants more carefully for good combination.
What I do is just find any empty space and get it in the ground , I guess that is lack of a plan.
The idea of stepping stones for access is a good idea. When weeding it looks like I am playing that old game Twister.
KaperC
No. San Diego Co., CA
(Zone 10b)

September 24, 2009
3:06 PM

Post #7099353

Yes, paths - we planned the big ones, but not smaller ones. However, since we're on a slope, we've found that it's easier to go one way rather than another, so now at least we know where we want some of them! Planning is good, but sometimes we have to live with our gardens a while to figure out the best way to do things. We live in a fire danger area and are encouraged to have pathways or hard-scape to break up plantings.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 24, 2009
5:30 PM

Post #7099798

Hooray I guess no one is imune from wanting to see the visuals before making ajustments.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 24, 2009
6:29 PM

Post #7099990

I agree with Kathleen in that living with the garden for a time gives us a better idea where pathways would be useful, even if it's just a few pieces of broken slate to allow us entry to weed and not have to play Twister.
KaperC
No. San Diego Co., CA
(Zone 10b)

September 25, 2009
12:22 AM

Post #7101294

Anything to avoid Twister!!

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 25, 2009
8:22 AM

Post #7102244

No twister for me either.
motts1
south central, WI
(Zone 5a)

September 27, 2009
4:06 AM

Post #7108359

A Plan, my shovel, trowel and bad back for a plan!!!
Twister...argh!!
Not crowding plants..makes bending over a death sentence to the asiatic lily etc. right behind my behind.
Not being more assertive about "iffy" plants and remember what the instructor said
" A weed is a plant out of place"...I have some very pretty and spreading weeds!

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 27, 2009
9:28 AM

Post #7108652

Marcia I have the same problem, twister around asiatics that are past bloom and stalks as big as stakes.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 27, 2009
1:03 PM

Post #7108886

Still chuckling over bending over and getting surprised when we least expect it with those Asiatic lily stalks. How true!

So many of us have the "this one can fit" mentality (myself included, of course) and that leads to crowding and that proceeds to "Twister".

Leaving plants because "that's where the birds planted them" is another disaster. They did leave me this beautiful thriving white bleeding heart (and in the perfect spot) but they just aren't gardeners though I do love them, but not the crows.

Thumbnail by pirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 27, 2009
1:34 PM

Post #7108951

NOT like CROWS?
Whaaaa.
I love to watch them in our neighborhood.

Thumbnail by ge1836
Click the image for an enlarged view.

pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 27, 2009
1:40 PM

Post #7108962

When they raid the nests of other birds and fly off with tiny young birds in their mouth as the mother birds cry for their missing young ones I'd like to shoot the crows.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 27, 2009
1:45 PM

Post #7108969

You sure know how to hurt a mother Pirl.
Thats just awful.Wrens also kill young chickadees.

Thumbnail by ge1836
Click the image for an enlarged view.

pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 27, 2009
2:01 PM

Post #7109023

Sorry! Didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Love your work but still hate the crows.

They attacked our tomatoes so often we had to go to the time, work and expense, to totally enclose the tomato section of our vegetable garden. They rank up close to the deer in this area.

Thumbnail by pirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 27, 2009
2:11 PM

Post #7109050

I know they are a nuiscence, poop all over cars in the city.
There is a plan to thin them out of urban areas.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 27, 2009
2:17 PM

Post #7109064

Good!

The sea gulls do more in the messing of cars department but they do amuse me with their antics.
toofewanimals
Trenton, MI
(Zone 5b)

September 27, 2009
2:24 PM

Post #7109081

Ahhh, thanks pirl, now I know what was putting holes in my tomatos. I was blaming it on the robins.

Do overs ... yep, wider paths, less variety, repeat a few patterns. I love the cottage garden style, but found that some plants I love don't do well with the competition.
I wish I could find a good place to put my Lilac so that it would bloom ... i'm lucky to get it to bloom once in 5 years. It is in too much shade. I just don't have a good place to put it.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 27, 2009
2:28 PM

Post #7109095

No sun? They love sunshine here.
toofewanimals
Trenton, MI
(Zone 5b)

September 28, 2009
9:08 AM

Post #7111769

Yes, they do love the sun ... I planted my lilac in a part-shade area hoping it would be 'ok' ... it grows lovely leaves, but needs the sun for those beautiful blossoms. I don't have a sunny area that it can really fit into.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 28, 2009
9:24 AM

Post #7111778

I wouldnt have planted my LemonWave Hydrangea so close to the Agastache.Anyone know when I can move it?
NOW"
Spring?
venu209
Jersey Shore, NJ
(Zone 7a)

September 28, 2009
10:26 PM

Post #7114078

Jo Ann, I just moved a hydrangea last week and it's doing very well. If you're talking about the agastache, I've always read to move in spring. I have some agastache I want to move, but the plethora of bees keeps them right where they are!

My biggest gardening mistake is one I make over and over. Too many different kinds of plants in any given area. I'm finally learning to stop practicing the "shove it in" gardening style...with some help from a dear gardening friend!

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 28, 2009
11:18 PM

Post #7114252

Thanks Venu
I cant move the agastache for the same reason.
I'll move the Hyd.Its still small and only needs to be moved a bit to the left of where it is now to allow the Agastache to lean forward as far as it wants.
venu209
Jersey Shore, NJ
(Zone 7a)

September 29, 2009
2:28 AM

Post #7114993

I think you'll be fine moving the hydrangea. Mine was a monster, so I did make sure it got plenty of water everyday for a week after the big move. Mom Nature has now taken over the watering chores.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 29, 2009
8:27 AM

Post #7115547

Yeahhh we have had over an inch of rain.in 2 days thats more than we had all last month
pollyk
Hannibal, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 30, 2009
2:15 AM

Post #7118437

I would start over planting more trees and shrubs right at the first. The areas where I did are now the nicest in the garden.

And I would plant further apart. My perennials are all way too close together.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 30, 2009
8:53 AM

Post #7118977

I'll be moving the Lemon Wave Hydrangea Its too close to the Agastachewhich just migrates forward from June to October.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 30, 2009
10:26 AM

Post #7119029

Planting further apart is a great idea, Polly, and yet when gardens are new I think we all have the tendency to crowd and not allow for expansion.

"They" say in books to plant further apart and use annuals to fill in while the perennials grow to full size and yet for many of us the thought of planting a thousand annuals a year just waiting for that to happen is daunting, at best.

Thumbnail by pirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 30, 2009
10:33 AM

Post #7119036

not to mention the cost
venu209
Jersey Shore, NJ
(Zone 7a)

September 30, 2009
10:38 AM

Post #7119042

That's what I did with a new small shade garden this spring and it worked perfectly. I can tell now that there will be no room for the annuals next year as the perennials have filled out so much. This was also an area that was preplanned using graph paper, the outcome much nicer than my usual haphazzard ,shove it in gardening style.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 30, 2009
10:51 AM

Post #7119072

It can work perfectly if we behave and don't find more plants for the area and mess up the plants. I don't know why we feel every nook and cranny has to be filled. I, for one, don't mind the sight of nice mulch while plants are growing.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 30, 2009
10:55 AM

Post #7119081

I am an impatient person and have too many different plants on my wish list.
I just keep finding places for them. I have to pull back tho because there are blanks in the garden now where plants only look like they died. Newbies that are making roots for next year hopefully.
I referr to columbines.
gardengus
Flora, IN
(Zone 5a)

September 30, 2009
12:13 PM

Post #7119238

For me I think the crowding starts in the spring there LOOKS like space and in goes a plant , then at the end of the season it is way too packed.
Example I see space.

Thumbnail by gardengus
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gardengus
Flora, IN
(Zone 5a)

September 30, 2009
12:15 PM

Post #7119241

space gone

Thumbnail by gardengus
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gardengus
Flora, IN
(Zone 5a)

September 30, 2009
12:16 PM

Post #7119244

garden in ciaos.

Thumbnail by gardengus
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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 30, 2009
12:19 PM

Post #7119256

They are the gardening facts of life.
lovetropics
Scottsdale, AZ
(Zone 9b)

October 2, 2009
3:40 AM

Post #7125737

Hi Pirl,
sorry to chime in so late! Since I live in Arizona, I should have planted trees first. I was new to the area(translocated from MN) I did not understand the intensity of the AZ sun and the reflected heat the plants get from hardscapes.
Someday it will happen.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

October 2, 2009
8:38 AM

Post #7126029

hard scapes are nice
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 2, 2009
11:20 AM

Post #7126154

Just my personal opinion here, lovetropics, but I feel most plants appreciate a break from the hottest sun of the day. I do!

Hardscaping can add so much to a property but done wrong it's misery. People often go to extremes instead of keeping it simple.
lovetropics
Scottsdale, AZ
(Zone 9b)

October 2, 2009
12:44 PM

Post #7126350

I am with you Pirl. I think hardscape is harsh to the eye.
I have minimal here. I have a pool with kool deck which is being covered with ground cover rosemary. That had softened the look.
Masonary walls around the property add reflected heat. Also the ground is covered with cracked granite as the mulch. That mulch has it's positives--keeps weeds away and does not need to be replaced (money saving). But it's negative is it does reflect heat.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

October 2, 2009
12:46 PM

Post #7126357

Its hard to blend a house into a desert setting.
lovetropics
Scottsdale, AZ
(Zone 9b)

October 2, 2009
12:49 PM

Post #7126369

yes ge1836. Most houses here use deserty colors/natural materials such as stone/slate..etc to blend in. Ofcourse my house is green--natural paloverde tree color green. As the trees are maturing, it is blending in.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

October 2, 2009
12:57 PM

Post #7126390

Having blue stone, marble, concrete or brick benches is not an invitation to sit for long. I couldn't take it at all with sciatica.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

October 2, 2009
1:49 PM

Post #7126526

Its a whole different world in Arizona
lovetropics
Scottsdale, AZ
(Zone 9b)

October 2, 2009
2:14 PM

Post #7126595

I have lived in MO, NY, MN, FL, India. I get my fix when I visit HI and CA regularly. I am now appreciating the beauty that the desert brings in keeping in mind that my garden looks like a tropical jungle'ish. I will post pictures one of these days.
AZ has most species of hummingbirds in the country. I have read some where that desert hosts more species of wildlife than tropical rainforest. Currently my garden is teaming with butterflies/hummers/dragonflies/birds/bees/lots of species of lizards...etc. I am just amazed that this is happening in a desert!
Before I moved to AZ, I did not give much credit to the desert(moved for work related reasons). One visit to the botanical gardens helped me change my mind. I did not realize that cacti can have beautiful and very colorful blossoms. I don't go cacti because I don't like thorns.
gardengus
Flora, IN
(Zone 5a)

October 2, 2009
4:06 PM

Post #7126978

I have visited Az. and I think anyone going to the desert has to visit a botanical garden it will definitely change your concept of a desert.
venu209
Jersey Shore, NJ
(Zone 7a)

October 3, 2009
12:05 AM

Post #7128498

I was in Scottsdale about 10 years ago. I remember being amazed at th number of hummers buzzing all over. I have one that shows up here every summer. Just one :(
lovetropics
Scottsdale, AZ
(Zone 9b)

October 3, 2009
12:20 AM

Post #7128571

that's funny venu209. I have a secret spot in my garden where I sit and read. Turk's cap hibiscus is there. Hummers zoom right by my face to those flowers. I realized that they are not scared of humans unlike lots of other birds(Quails are the worst. They leave as soon as I enter my garden).
KaperC
No. San Diego Co., CA
(Zone 10b)

October 3, 2009
2:04 AM

Post #7129033

DH had a hummer visit his ear one day. LOL! He was snoozing and I guess his ear looked inviting.
lovetropics
Scottsdale, AZ
(Zone 9b)

October 3, 2009
2:20 AM

Post #7129088

LOL! May be his ear was red!! They are attracted to tubular structures and things that look red.
I have had near misses to my ear. Perhaps it is because I am brown(indian that is).
lovetropics
Scottsdale, AZ
(Zone 9b)

October 3, 2009
2:25 AM

Post #7129107

Hi Deanna,
Lantana camara to means that it is a shrub type. Unfortunately does not tell me which variety it is. Perhaps taking stem cuttings in addition to seeds may be of additional help. Please take a look at this site for info.
http://www.floridata.com/ref/L/lant_c.cfm

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