Gardening Oops (GOOPs)- last of 2009

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.

coneflower seed head-2 11-2009 coneflower seed head 11-2009 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?

12 comments for “Gardening Oops (GOOPs)- last of 2009

  1. December 1, 2009 at 8:52 pm


    Thanks for the shout out…my GOOPs this month is kind of the reverse of yours. I made mine in the spring and regretted it all summer long. Sounds like you may be regretting yours next summer.

    Thanks for dreaming up the idea of GOOPs, I’ve had fun participating for the past few months.

  2. joenesgarden
    December 1, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    It has been fun. I’ve enjoyed trading GOOPs with you. I’m still deciding whether to continue this into the winter months. Guess I’ll figure it out as January approaches.

  3. December 2, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Asiatic jasmine. I allowed DH to plant some Asiatic jasmine in a corner of my garden. It is going to take over the whole world, especially since I cannot dig it openly, while DH is here to help me. He would really be aggravated if he knew I was digging it at all! But it is very invasive here, and you can’t kill it with herbicide, at least not one that I would care to be around. RoundUp will not touch it, with the waxy cover on the leaves. You have to let him plant things, or he will get discouraged and quit.

    OH, Woe is me! Drat, Dern! Oh, Shoot! I hate this stuff! I would a thousand times rather have coneflowers! At least the birds will eat them!

  4. joenesgarden
    December 2, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Janie, thanks for stopping by and I’m so sorry to hear of your plight. I’m not familiar with asiatic jasmine since it’s not winter hardy in zone 6, but after a little quick research I found many others with experiences similar to yours. Some suggested training it to vine upwards since it seems to bloom better that way. Is this something you could do to turn a despised plant into an asset? Can you sink some barrier material around the plant to keep it from taking over where it is not wanted? Good luck … maybe DH would listen to the “it’s invasive” argument?

  5. December 2, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    What a great idea! I have so many GOOPS I don’t know where to begin. I’ll narrow down my choices (so many!) and post for next month.

    Cheers from Alaska,
    Christine B.

  6. joenesgarden
    December 3, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Thanks for visiting Christine B. I look forward to reading your far north GOOPs next month. Everyone’s comments have given me new energy to continue with monthly GOOPs.

  7. December 3, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    I wish I hadn’t planted TOO MUCH! I went kinda crazy last spring and had a jam-packed garden during the summer. You really can have too much of a good thing!

  8. joenesgarden
    December 3, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    Gee Jen, I hope your family, friends, and neighbors didn’t run and hide when they saw you coming with armloads of produce! I’ll bet the local food bank would have happily taken your excess.

  9. December 5, 2009 at 10:55 am

    I have plenty of GOOPS to share but leaving the echinacea plant stems standing is no goop in my world…OK I am a habitat gardener LOL 🙂

    I am with you, it is soooo nice on a cold winter day to enjoy a cup of tea and watch jthe uncos, finches and song sparrows jumping around the perennial beds picking at seeds….I’ve been trying to catch it on film but it’s tough because the birds only spend time there when all is quiet (ie my 3 dogs are indoors sleeping)….
    Enjoying your blog very much!

  10. joenesgarden
    December 5, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Ellen, I’m so glad you stopped by. If I had unlimited space, such as a large open field, I wouldn’t think twice about letting my coneflowers go to seed. But since I have limited space, and want to grow plants besides coneflowers, I have to be more careful.
    Hope you stop back to share one of your GOOPs next month.

  11. December 15, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    This is the most fun memey-type thing I’ve ever seen! A super fun idea, and I’d love a crew to share my GOOPS with (fantastic name!) I saw you on the GWW site in Nan’s post on blog projects. Hope this brings more shameless mistake-makers your way. I have much to share… P.S. You should have a native plant sale in the spring and make a little cash from your generosity to the birds.

  12. joenesgarden
    December 15, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    You made my day, Lynn. I hope you join the next GOOPs day, January 1. I quickly perused your garden photos … love the lupine by the stone steps. Hope you are still enjoying the northeast.

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