October 1, 2012

I Fixed It

I made a mistake but I fixed it.

It is the first of the month and time to confess a Gardening Oops.  Joene sponsors this and you can find more GOOPs on her blog.

I have no explanation for why I planted tall grasses right in the middle of a garden bed, obscuring anything behind them. I think I had a plan -- it involved waving, motion-filled verticals in a space under some trees.

I think. I don't actually remember now why I did this.

But I fixed it.

I took out all the Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'.  Feather reed grass is nice, and 'Karl Foerster' is a great cultivar that glows in the sunshine when the light illuminates the tips. But it is inappropriate in the middle to front of a mixed border.

It looked better immediately after I uprooted them.

There is a whole other gardening oops resulting from creating a big border underneath a maple and a birch tree as you see I have done. The root competition and increasing shade is an emerging disaster for this garden.

It looked so spacious and easy to fill in the beginning. Wouldn't you be tempted to plant up the open spaces between the little trees with shrubs and perennials? I was. This was in 2008. So much space to fill.

But a mixed border under large forest trees is a major oops for another day. Today I am just happy I corrected the mistake I made in there with the grasses.

 

21 comments:

  1. That was so easy to fix, it hardly counts as an Oops at all! Just a hiccup, I think.

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    1. Lyn, I like that a lot--- a hiccup in the garden, not a big messy mistake : )

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  2. I agree with Lyn. :o) Dig it up, move it out, moving on! I do a lot of planting under trees because it's my only option. If you need dry shade recommendations, let me know. What might look cute there is a dwarf sea oats cultivar called French Tickler.

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    1. Tammy, I am developing some good dry shade combinations as I experiment, and of course epimediums top the list. They do well under this maple. And sedums at the edge where the sun hits. Surprisingly a couple spireas do ok, not because they like dry shade, but because you can't kill or stunt them anywhere!

      I am fascinated by the dwarf sea outs and am off now to do some looking up and research.

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  3. I have a smalllll garden where I have three huge (soon to be 4) trees to garden under. I have done similar things. I have some grass I don't know what to do with. You have inspired me to rip it out. I can't tell you what you were thinking because I can't say what I was thinking when I planted mine. ha...

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    1. Lisa, these grasses (Karl Foerster) were dug out easily, but others (miscanthus and some panicums) that I tried to move were real challenges to get out. Good luck with your moves!

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  4. What did you do with the grasses?

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    1. Ellen, a whole other misadventure with the move of the grasses. I moved them whole and standing to the back of the same garden, behind the birch, to see how their tall verticals would look there. A day later strong winds uprooted them, and they spent a day with their roots in the sunshine before I got out to right them. Didn't like them in that spot any better, so I moved the disintegrating rootballs again to another spot -- long story, what was left of these lovely, abused, mistreated grasses is now in the compost pile. That might be the bigger Oops.

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    2. So sad...it happens to all of us.

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  5. I think I could write a book on gardening oops:) Sorry to hear your grasses didn't survive the move. I made a somewhat similar mistake planting amsonia in too small a space where it overshadowed all the smaller plants. I did manage to move it this spring, but not without the help of my husband, an axe, and a broken spade. They (now 2 plants)survived, but they better like where they are because I'm not moving them again!

    I agree about open space--it just begs to be filled up.

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    1. Rose, the most difficult plant I ever moved was a small, low growing amsonia, called Blue Ice. Nothing like the big amsonia you tried to move! But they are all incredibly tough customers and not easy to uproot at all!!

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  6. The more I read these the more of what I think of as "gardening" at my place is just a long series of goops.

    Well the garden bed looks great now, even if in the future you have to move other things out.

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    1. Sweetbay, it does seem as though any gardener on any day has an unlimited trove of "oops" events to tell. All of us!

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  7. Laurrie,
    I've found the best time to move grasses is spring. Of course you don't see their true height and effect then. Moving them in summer, when in full height, is always iffy. I've had some success moving grass root balls in late summer/early autumn if the tops are pruned down and they receive regular water. I, too, have lost lovely grasses to summer transplanting so this is a GOOPs I no longer make.
    Thanks for keeping GOOPs alive this month. I just didn't have it in me to write a post. You'll understand why by visiting my blog today. I guess my failure to post is my GOOPs for October.

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    1. Joene, I was so sorry to read your post about losing a dear friend. You have thought of a lovely way to honor and remember her in your garden.

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  8. Oops aside...your garden is outstanding! What do you back up to??? And yes moving your grasses really open up that bed! Great move!

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    1. Nicole, thanks! Our half acre yard backs up to a wild area that is open meadow and then the tall trees behind it are actually lining a busy road. The meadow and roadside trees belong to our homeowner's association in common --- it's not our own private land --- but I do tend it and have planted saplings out there.

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  9. I see what you mean, hard to see what's on the other side of those grasses. Looks great with it opened up a bit now. I actually did the same thing, planting grass in the middle of a bed, but I'm trying to hide what's behind the grass. You can see my bed from both sides so I'm hoping it blocks just enough so you feel the need to walk to the other side and see what's there. Guess we'll find out in a year or two if my idea works or if I'll be moving my grass too!

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    1. Marguerite, I am finding that grasses are tricky design-wise. They have such a prairie look, and they command the view, and it is hard for me to integrate them into my gardens. I have other spots where I am using panicum and miscanthus, and I am not so happy with them either!

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  10. I have so many Oopses in my garden, I'm not sure where to start. I have done a similar thing to what you did with the grass, but I did it with shrubs. Not so easy to fix. What was I thinking? I'm not sure I was (thinking). I thought when we moved I could start over and not make so many mistakes, but I just made a bunch of new ones. I've got my work cut out for me.

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    1. Alison, I think it is so funny that you moved and had a clean start in a new garden, and still make lots of oops. Makes me feel a little less silly myself : )

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