Past due weeding–a Gardening Oops

Bags of mulch have rested quietly in the driveway for more than a month, waiting for this gardener’s attention. Meanwhile, weeds have grown and spread in the nearby perennial/shrub beds, taunting the mulch and this gardener with, “Nah, nah. You can’t get me!” Not having enough time or cooperative weather to weed and mulch the beds in the front of my house has been my gardening oops – my GOOPs – all spring into summer.

I share a GOOPs tale on the first of each month. In nearly four decades of gardening I’ve made and/or witnessed many inadvertent mistakes. I share these gardening oops – GOOPS for short – hoping others can benefit from my mistakes and observations.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This morning I’m happy to share that many of the taunting weeds in my gardens have been muzzled.

This row of bagged mulch has been reduced by four, and my front beds are beginning to look more as they should … weed free and neatly mulched.

As a professional gardener, garden designer, and garden coach, spring and early summer are busy, busy, busy in gardens that are not my own. This is a good thing. I enjoy helping others turn their garden visions into reality, and during the last few months I’ve been privileged to do this in many gardens.

But working in other gardens means work in my own is pushed way down on the to-do list.

When this happens you can often hear me mutter, “If my clients’ gardens looked like mine, I’d be fired.”

Fortunately, it’s never too late to weed and mulch, and that’s exactly what I did this weekend. Unfortunately, completing these tasks when perennials are fully grown and weeds have had the time to spread makes these tasks more difficult and time consuming.

Still, it’s rewarding to convert a weed-infested planting into something worth looking at.

Before I started, the long-present lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina ‘Helen von Stein’) was lost amongst spreading weeds. Helen did not like being covered under feet of heavy snow for so long last year. She is usually much fuller.


Hopefully, now that Helen and her nearby companions – including the common, flowering lamb’s ear planted as a border –  have been unburdened by weed competition, fertilized with a topdressing of worm castings, and surrounded by fresh mulch, all will fill in a bit.

They already look happier, don’t you think?


Now it’s your turn to share a GOOPs tale. Make a comment below or confess your GOOPs on your own blog and leave a teaser comment and link below.

Read through past GOOPs tales for ideas … some are funny, some are sad, but all are worth knowing about before committing trowel or shovel to soil.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Joene Hendry

8 comments for “Past due weeding–a Gardening Oops

  1. July 1, 2013 at 8:38 am

    I got such a chuckle out of your weeds taunting the captive bags of mulch! They do that — weeds are such bullies in so many ways : )

    My oops is on my blog this morning and it is the opposite of yours — I was too interventionist in fussing over a patch of bunchberry.

    • July 1, 2013 at 9:13 am

      Laurrie, You’d fall into side-splitting laughter if you could hear the razzing of the bully weeds in another bed!
      Thanks for playing in the GOOPs garden bed again this month.

  2. July 1, 2013 at 9:09 am

    The weather has certainly made it more difficult to get gardening chores done. I have been waiting for weeks to get a load of composted manure for a bed I want to develop. I have 2 dozen potted plants sitting on the porch waiting to go into the bed. It seems like whenever I have the time to get the manure, it’s raining, or about to rain. I will need to drive on the lawn with the truck to get it where it needs to go. This is best done when the lawn is not sodden. And it’s only a half-ton pickup truck. It’s better for the truck if the manure isn’t so heavy with moisture. Oh, well. I have some seedlings to pot on. And I’m sure if I took a look, there are indoor chores that are past due. Dust? What dust?

    • July 1, 2013 at 9:26 am

      Kathy, I empathize. On my front porch sits a potted pagoda dogwood, a serviceberry, two quince, and two inkberries waiting to be planted. Plus there are a few other beds with gardener-taunting weeds that need muzzling … and it’s raining again today. You attack your dust, I’m attacking laundry.

  3. July 1, 2013 at 11:52 am

    oh i love Helen, my favourite Lamb’s ear by far. Like you, my weeding has been put off far too long this season. I’ve spent the last week straight trying to restore order but once the weeds get up to my knees I want to cry mercy.

    • July 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Marguerite, I find weeds pretty easy to pull when they are knee-high, provided there’s been ample rain. Hope your order is restored soon!

  4. July 1, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    I’m too embarrassed to show photos of the weeds in my beds. Actually it’s mainly crabgrass creeping into the beds. I need some mulch to put down once I weed so the crabgrass just doesn’t grow back again but, like you, I find I have so little time to spend in the garden lately. At least you have the mulch!!

    • July 2, 2013 at 8:04 am

      Debbie, I feel somewhat vindicated hearing you are feeling the same way … embarrassed by the beds in your own gardens. At least I know I’m not the only garden coach/designer who leaves their own gardening tasks till last.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: