December 1, 2009. Welcome to the last of my gardening blunder posts for 2009. I started writing about my gardening faux pas back in May. After being inspired by the outpouring of garden bloggers who post photos of what’s blooming in their gardens on Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, the brainchild of Carol at May Dreams Gardens, I figured it might be fun to tweak Carol’s idea a bit and declare the first of each month as Gardening Oops Day, GOOPs for short. On GOOPs Day, I rehash one of my gardening blunders, and ask other gardeners to do the same – come on, admit it, you’ve made some blunders too. Admittedly, GOOPs has not taken off like GBBD, but I really didn’t expect it to – I don’t have near the number of readers as May Dreams Gardens. Still, one person, Debbie at A Garden of Possibilities, has stood steadfastly by my GOOPs idea and joined in nearly every month. To Debbie, and others who have stopped by to add their GOOPS – thank you.
So here’s the gig. After I confess one of my GOOPs, you can either write one of your own on your blog, leaving a teaser and link in a comment below, or simply fess up your own sordid GOOPs tale below.
Here’s my December GOOPs. I’m pretty sure I will regret this in the spring. I chose not to trim the seed heads off all my coneflowers this year. The birds love to pick at the tiny seeds throughout the winter and I just did not have the heart to cut down all of these tiny birdfeeders. If lucky, I’ll spot a bright little goldfinch roosting atop a prickly globed coneflower seed head while its mate feeds happily in neighboring grass. So, using fall-season reasoning, leaving the seed heads intact is worth it. I have already spotted a flock of about 15 or so bluebirds that like to feed on and under the untrimmed coneflowers – there is something very special to sipping morning coffee while glimpsing electric bluebird blue on nearby fencing. Too bad I’m not a good enough photographer to catch these bluebirds digitally – now that would be a picture! But I digress – back to GOOPs. Once spring-reasoning sets in, and all the unpecked seeds become sprouted plants, I’m pretty sure I will have a few choice words for my autumn seed benevolence, particularly if I have limited time to keep up with early spring weeding. My Echinacea purpurea collection started with just a couple of plants. I try to be thrifty when I purchase plants by spending cash on only one or two until I know how they will establish in my gardens. I was thrilled with the first set of flowers, and by the fact that I managed to keep deer from eating them – something I’m not always successful at – and I left the seed heads to self sow and help feed wintering birds. I now have huge clumps of coneflowers growing hither and yon – all self sown or transplanted to their current location after self-sowing elsewhere. I’ve also managed to pawn a few volunteers off to neighbors during our spring plant swap. But, a non-deadheaded blossom can quickly become a garden thug. The coneflower area I opted not to deadhead this year is currently full and expanding to parts yet unknown … and I already have many, many coneflower thugs in areas I rather they not be. Plus, I spend a fair amount of time each spring pulling the tiny seedlings to prevent my gardens from becoming completely overrun. Boy I hope the bluebirds visit in the morning – I need to plant more blue-sightings into my memory plot to draw on when I’m feeling less generous toward these seed heads next spring.
Now it’s your turn. Tell what Damn-I-Wish-I-Hadn’t-Done-That move you’ve made in your garden, yard, or farm. What better way to learn if not from each other?