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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Plan, my shovel, trowel and bad back for a plan!!!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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