January 1, 2012

Here's To All My Blunders

Joene of Joene's Garden sponsors Gardening OOPs on the first of each month, where we confess the mistakes we make in the garden, in the hope that we will scare readers into not doing the same thing.

I began documenting my GOOPs on April 1, 2010, and have participated almost every month since.

I intended to blog about past mistakes I made as a beginning gardener, and learned from.  Instructive, careful lessons about what NOT TO DO.  Instead I seem to have an unlimited capacity to make new mistakes. 

Today is the first of January and the first day of 2012 and in honor of that, I culled 18 months of posts and have made you all a Top Ten List of my mistakes.  Click on the photo captions and read the disasters in full from the original posts.  Study and learn from each.  I certainly didn't. 


1. Wrong plant, wrong place, wrong idea, wrong zone.
9/1/10 - This Was the Worst Thing I Ever Planted

2. Crushing discouragement for a new gardener.

3.  Planned, paid for, planted and pampered these.  Couldn't remember any of it.
5/1/11 - Planted Them, Dug Them Up, No Idea

4. Sprayed stuff heedlessly.

5. What was I thinking?
4/1/11 - This Just Looked Stupid From the Start

6. This is gone now, taken out by a storm.
12/1/10 - I Regretted Planting This

7. This was NOT my mistake.  I'm saying.
5/1/10 - Outdoor Spelling Errors

That's seven, I can't go on.  The next three oops in a list of ten would be: 
  • I crammed everything too close together and never thought they'd grow so big.
  • Don't crowd tall shrubs under short trees and fill in with steroidal perennials.
  • A 40 foot tall tree is not going to do well in a 6 foot wide bed up against the house.  You can't make it fit.
Those last three are all the same mistake.  I am horticulturally unable to space permanent plants appropriately, especially large things like forest trees, rampant vines or car-sized shrubs .  I just can't do it.

Happy New Year!  

Here's a toast to making lots of horticultural blunders in your garden in 2012.  

I'll let you know about mine.


  1. Your last oops is my very worst sin. Just as my DB. tee hee... It is also about the most fun in the garden especially since I have such a small garden. I have to use my area wisely?? Happy New Year. May all your oops grow into beautiful blunders.

  2. Laurrie,
    It's both painful and amusing to look back at past GOOPs but, actually, if we wern't such active gardeners we wouldn't have any GOOPs to share.

    Thanks for being such a consistant GOOPs participant ... misery loves company!

  3. Lisa, Oh, I love your last comment "may all your oops grow into beautiful blunders" --- that is my new mantra for 2012!!

    Joene, it's the same thing in skiing - if you aren't falling down you aren't actively skiing and surely won't improve. I've apparently got winter sports nailed, as well as gardening. Thanks for sponsoring GOOPs, I do have fun with it!

  4. Laurrie, I just loved this post. I think it would be good for me to join in the gardening ooops, too. Keeps a gardener humble!
    The forsythia line looks kinda funny, but it shows how I view you. I never thought that was yours!!
    Another good thing about the oops-shows where you've come from!
    If you are missing your pear tree, you are welcome to mine.

  5. Planting big plants in small spaces was the #1 error in my first garden. I couldn't bear empty space and had to fill up every spot! *sigh* We do learn...kinda... :)

    Happy New Year!

  6. Laurrie, I think the crowding issue is a big one for all of us. There's so much weeding needed when things are too far apart so we put the plants together only to have them crowd. I'm already thinking about next year and how I'll need to move plants that even though I spaced them probably are still too close together.

  7. Laurrie, I'm a firm believer that we learn more from our 'Goops' than we do from our triumphs. Of course, that's probably because I make so many of them myself!

  8. Sissy, you can keep your pear tree. I am off them now after seeing so much destruction when the snow took most of them down. I hope yours flourishes, though!

    Garden Ms. S, I guess it's a pretty common mistake -- putting permanent plants too close to each other and buildings. sigh.

    Marguerite, good to know I have so much company in the crowded plants department!

    Debbie, at first I thought they were all just stupid mistakes, but after a while I see that each really is a way to learn what to do (and what not to do).

  9. I love this meme, and I don't know why I haven't participated yet--I could do a month's worth of posts of my gardenings oops's:) Yours made me laugh, especially the sign. But I'm laughing with you, not at you, on the last ones--I am also spatially challenged.

    Happy New Year, Laurrie, and Happy New Gardening Year!

  10. Ah well, sometimes I think I can't learn from my mistakes either, so you're not alone. The garden misspelling is my favorite.

  11. I laughed through this post, too, because I've made all the same mistakes. I'm especially good at thinking my shade isn't really THAT shady and end up sticking sun loving plants there that look like poo by mid-summer. I'm also very talented at planting aggressive plants and then wondering why they've taken over my garden.

  12. This makes me feel so much better about the fact that I planted all my shrubs too close together. But how else are you supposed to fit all the beautiful shrubs in the world into one yard?

  13. Rose, "spatially challenged" --- that sums up my biggest problem!

    Sweetbay, good to know I have company in making all these mistakes :)

    Tammy, I have the opposite of your shady garden -- I think shade lovers will do okay in my full sun gardens because "it's not that sunny and I'm kind of up north", and then they all fry.

    Heather, you have hit on one of the causes of plant crowding --- there are so many I want and I have just half an acre!


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