[gardeners] Great Garden Mistakes

Cheryl & Erich Schaefer (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Sun, 28 Dec 1997 06:03:21 -0500 (EST)

I was turned on by this thread on the gardens list. Are we all on both? I
delete 9 of 10 digests for lack of time but read all of gardeners, given
the lighter load, so I thought I'd throw my post in here and see what it
brings out in you.

Happy New Year Everyone! Haven't even been lurking in a while. Couldn't
resist this thread. Planted several things I have particularly regretted
ever since: nicandra and sweet annie, spearmint and comfry. Nicandra has
blue flowers, which is why I chose it. It's an annual which grows to four
feet or more, and while the light blue flowers are pretty, I suspect many
grow it for drying the seed pods. Not worth it! Let one to go seed and
you'll have nicandra forever, as I do. The same is true of sweet annie.
It's wonderful unless you let it get away from you - and who is so
efficient? Don't answer that! As for comfry and spearmint, I knew better
from reading about them but didn't really understand the terms invasive,
pervasive and forever until I grew these devils. The list is actually
longer, but have learned to contain certain plants - gooseneck loosestrife,
artemesia and the like - so I don't have to give them up because of their
bad habits. Others, like lamium and ajuga, I allow to spread everywhere as
ground cover, only removing it when I need the spot, but initially, I was
dumbstruck at the rapidity with which they took over.

Also, BIG mistake was planting trees too close, even when we knew better.
Fifteen feet may seem like a lot but it isn't when the trees will spread 20
to 30 ft. Why we ignored such basic things beats me, but we did, despite
have the room to do it right; it had something to do with the fact that the
trees were 6-12" tall at the time, I suppose.  Now a few lovelies will have
to be moved or cut down. I don't usually admit to such stupidity but may it
save someone else from doing the same.

Cheryl Schaefer
schaefer @epix.net
Zone 5 in the fabulous Finger Lakes of NY