Top Gardening Oops of 2012

Happy 2013 and welcome to the first Gardening Oops – GOOPs – post of the new year. On the first of each month I share a gardening blunder, mistake, miss-step, or oops – collectively known as GOOPs – I’ve made or witnessed, and encourage readers to share a GOOPs they’ve made or seen. Since it is sometime good to look back before stepping forward, I dug into the compost bin of GOOPs posts to grab the six most read Gardening Oops from 2012.

  1. March 1, 2012, Gardening is Not Static. A recount of the 12-year evolution of one of my garden beds, planted, replanted, and expanded to the point where I was finally pleased with the results. Then voles and a hurricane Irene stepped in to prove that no garden is static.
  2. May 1, 2012, Poorly Screened Compost. We learned the hard way that one person’s definition of screened compost does not necessarily fit what we expected screened compost to be.
  3. April 1, 2012, My Silly Gardening Oops. Not an April Fool’s joke. A real mistake made by a seasoned gardener responding to the sense that plants need protecting. My efforts made matters worse.
  4. January 1, 2012, Re-GOOPs. A look back at the Gardening Oops of 2011 when voles, deer, and chipmunks contributed to many, but not all, of the gardening problems encountered in 2011.
  5. August 1, 2012, Shared Information, patience, curiosity prevent a Gardening Oops. Never underestimate the value of learning from fellow gardeners. Don’t be too quick to remove a pest. Remain curious.
  6. July 1, 2012, Common, Ordinary Gardening Oops. Three bits of advice to side-step many GOOPs.

The gardens in southern Connecticut greet 2013 covered in snow.


But, last week, before the snow fell, I noticed the tips of narcissus bulbs peeking out of the ground. The above normal temperatures of November and December fooled two groups of narcissi – both planted in south-facing beds near hardscape that holds the warmth of the sun – into thinking it was time to send up shoots. The same happened last year, as shown in the photo below.


While it’s disturbing that this year’s shoots poked through the ground a full two weeks earlier than their unusually early showing in 2011, I’m not worried that spring bloom will be any different than expected. With a mulch of evergreen branches and a new blanket of snow, growth will slow to a snail’s pace. I’m sure the tips of the narcissi leaves will brown from cold exposure, but I expect the bulbs will bloom as beautifully as they did in 2012.


With the GOOPs of 2012 behind us, let’s all look forward to the opportunity to the 2013 gardening season. More Gardening Oops will be made, but that’s okay. If we are not making mistakes then we are not gardening hard enough!

I hope you will join in sharing your gardening faux pas here on the first of each month. You can share your tale in a comment below or post it on your blog and leave a teaser comment and link below.

And … here is a huge THANK YOU to Laurrie at My Weeds Are Very Sorry for playing in the GOOPs sandbox every month … even during a month when I could not. Laurrie is a true hands-on gardener who does not hesitate to try new things and is willing to share her experiences – not so good and good. Laurrie’s tales help make GOOPs day more interesting and I’m looking forward to sharing GOOPs day with her any all who come to play on the first of each month.

Garden thoughtfully,


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2 comments for “Top Gardening Oops of 2012

  1. January 1, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Ha! Thanks for the shout out. I have never lacked for mistakes to blog about, as unforced errors seem to be what I nurture best. I do enjoy these first of the month confessions, and I thank you for hosting them and providing us with yours. I think they keep us sane as we review the mini disasters around us.

    My oops for the first day of 2013 is on my blog this morning. Not my own doing this time, it’s mother nature’s mistake.

    • January 1, 2013 at 10:00 am

      Laurrie, let’s think of our combined GOOPs as pushing the gardening envelop. This sounds so much more adventurous than calling them errors!

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