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Cheryl S.

All I can say is, it's a good thing they don't reproduce like Boxelder bugs.


I love Henry Mitchell's books. I rather wish I hadn't dropped my gardening obsession for a fiber obsession; it's easier to stay in shape while gardening. I tried to get outside today to muck about in the garden, but that wind was bitter! However, I can report the crown imperials are a foot high, the striped maple is finally big enough to have those gorgeous bark stripes, and I still can't find the little daphne, planted decades ago evidently, that shows itself for a week or so every spring and then hides in the hedgerow all summer. Also, the red orchid cactus is opening 20 or so buds.

You know, commenting on people's blogs is a lot easier than writing my own. Maybe I should emulate Manise...


I love Henry Mitchell's books, too. Beverly Nichols, not so much. Elizabeth and her German Garden is worth seeking out.

My plant purgatory is the front steps or the patio. Countless annuals and perennials have gasped their last dying respiration there.

We have those same damned bugs in Wisconsin, too. Noisy things...


Now that the snow has melted off our south-facing slope, we're faced with the grass that has invaded under the mulch, and I'm left trying to decide what I want to do about it, since the ultimate plan is to dig it all up and terrace everything. No small feat, and I expect it'll be years in the doing.

Caroline M

I bring things home without any idea where I'll put them and with barely a thought as to their final size. Thankfully the banana plant looks to have not survived the winter because after four years it was becoming a problem. Veg are so much easier than shrubs.


The bugs turn into a water machine that looks much the same but floats. It's also just as noisy.
My garden obsession was quenched when we moved into the condo. I tried for years to grow something, anything in our patio area. It now contains rocks. The plants don't miss me, but I miss them still.


I've done that with plants, too, and I always feel so guilty about it!

Laura J

We will not speak of the number of plants I've killed, usually after repeated near-death watering and revival.

The Essential Earthman is one of my favorite books ever. I think of Mitchell often and I hope, rather twee-ly, that he knows he means a lot to me while I appreciate my increasingly sketchy attempts.


This is going to be a No Gardening year for me, I'm afraid. Too much travel hither and yon during the seed-starting months even to think about that. I have enough trouble getting a cat sitter...someone who waters seedlings, too? Not possible! So much for the new greenhouse. Maybe I should make this the Year of Digging Up and Mulching all the beds and getting them ready for NEXT year!


The current abode has a small yard, densely planted with too many shrubs and a few trees, ground cover or lawn, and all very low maintenance, low water, and mostly low appeal. The climate is kind, the soil fertile, the pests few, so I can pretty much ignore it all, mowing the patch of lawn occasionally, flicking on the watering system when it's especially dry for a spell. I go through with the felcos and whack and shape since there are three times the plants for the space (typical of new construction). There is a row of four small young azaleas, eight to twelve inches high, literally covered in 4-inch blooms that vie for space. The jasminum polyanthemum is a vertical carpet of fragrant blossoms running the length of the fence along the driveway. I have to shoot the gap with my breath held or risk becoming scent-drunk. The hibiscus has so many flowers on it that it is bowed. The neighbor's lemon tree is grateful to be able to rest its heavily laden boughs on our fence. Another neighbor's orange trees are so thick with blossoms that the trees are as white as they are green.

I go through the motions but am detached. After working the farm in Montana with our 39-day growing season, living in this temperate lotus land is surreal. Every morning when I wake it is GREEN outside. Go figure.


I've committed that same crime, but it's more a case of good intentions that gave way to laziness when my plant purchases perish. Speaking of which, I bought several succulents on Saturday that I need to repot....


After vowing that the front yard would be a garden free zone (except for the 2' hexagon around the linden sapling)...well, I expanded the beds and bought more and now I swear "no more gardens" followed by "no more fleeces" followed by shouts of laughter from M.


I 3x3 bed. For veggies. That is all the gardening mojo I can muster.

Happy to watch you though!


I once dug up my bed of irises, which was completely grown full of them, and planted back the 12 plants I wanted there. I held the others in a 5-gallon paint bucket to plant somewhere else in fall.

Next spring, I found the bucket again. The irises had overwintered fine in the garage, and indeed were beginning to grow within the bucket. However, the original bed was again almost in the same overgrown state (in a YEAR)!

Needless to say, those irises in the bucket were thrown away. So sad. Now if I could only kill the crabgrass that wants to be in the iris bed!!!

I'll admit that I'm a lazy, unfocused gardener who only pays attention when things don't do as they should. This year the lilac will get the attention it didn't the last 2 years, only because I noticed it doesn't have many blooms.

Melissa G

I admit to Darwinian gardening. Now I am waiting to see if the Lady's Mantle survived or if I should replace it with Pasque Flower which appears to be thriving 18" away. My biggest challenge is bulbs: in the spring I want more; in the fall I "forget" to plant them.


Years ago, Madman realized that the more area I had in flower gardens, the less he had to mow... He'll happily dig me new flowerbeds any time, in the hopes that I'll bring home new plants to fill them.
Hardly seems fair, does it?

Our neighbor has an infestation of those big bugs. He captures and hauls them away in huge trailers, but I notice they always find their way back. Terrible pests!


I'll put my hand up for that, too. Twice each year I spent a fortune at a specialist garden centre, triumphantly set out my prizes, then realised that before I could plant A I had to move B and C, and C had to be split to be replanted after I dug up the dead roots of D. And then a dry summer would bake the plants and a wet winter would rot them (we're on clay). Alternatively, April and May showers result in a magical upwelling of slugs and snails that eat everything green. Except bindweed.

Spinning and knitting is just so much easier. Nothing growing while my attention is elsewhere.


Guilty here in MN as well. Glad to know I am not alone.


Ah, yes, plant purgatory. Indeed you are not the only one who does that.

And ya know, that's a pretty eloquent piece to be titled writer's block.


Daffodils are not competitive. All daffodils are worth of posting. Can you tell I like them? They survive, year after year, with no care at all. My kind of plant.
After much experience, my rule is never buy the plant until the hole has been dug and fertilized. For sizing, I recommend walking around with a clipboard, paper, pen, and a carpenter's spring-wound metal measuring tape.
And then sitting back with a good drink and a good book and ignoring the whole thing.


Hmmm, a secret project?!?


Your posts always make me smile. The words and thoughts are so "on the money". This is the time of year when people hit the garden centers with a gleam in their eye and hope in their hearts. And winter is wonderful in its buglessness. We struggle through the summer months pretending to love gardening when what we truly wish is that the snow will fall and the bugs will go away!


Plant purgatory... ha ha ha ... love it. and yes, I suspect that all gardeners have a spot like this in their yard.
I just cannot resist the lure of full new plants (in fact bought a bunch of lobelia yesterday, which is now hiding under my eaves until the last dreaded threat of "frost" passes.
Thank you for the sweet reminder to pause with our iris. What a lovely sentiment.

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