When people see my yard, they often ask if I'm a Master Gardener. I have been gardening in some of the most challenging environment for the past 30 plus years so I do qualify for having some knowledge of soil, plants, requirements, etc. But a Master Gardener? No. To qualify you have to take classes for a week and I could never justify taking that much time off work. Besides, when I talk to friends about gardening, whether at home or at the nursery where I work, I don't want it to sound textbook. I like to talk about my experiences; what worked and what didn't. Plain and simple.
Colleen from In the Garden Online has challenged us in her post, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, to share some of our more challenging gardening experiences. You know.... those areas of our gardens that we don't show off... where the weeds have taken over or we can't get anything to grow. By sharing our misfortunes, we will hopefully encourage others to garden. You know, by showing how easy it really is and that not everyone has a perfect garden.
So.... in the name of helping a fellow future gardener, here's a few of my not-so-pretty gardening photos. UGH!
This is my first ugly. It's a raised bed in our front yard. Try as I might, I can't get much of anything to grow in it. These annuals are no bigger today than they were two months ago when I planted them.
Is it the soil, you ask? I seriously doubt it because I enhance it with good compost yearly.
Do you fertilize? Yes, I do. Every couple weeks I water with an application of Miracle Grow. I tell you, this is some good soil!
But I still cannot get anything to grow. And who can't grow calendula? Or snapdragons? Or pansies??? Clearly, I cannot, in this garden.
It's sad but true....
This is another not-so-pretty photo. This is a portion of the new garden I created this year. Pathetic, huh? It's new soil, enhanced with compost. It gets plenty of sunshine.... when it's not raining....
There are four peonies in the middle. Yea, I know you couldn't tell.... That's the problem. These peonies came from my front yard. In a garden they weren't crazy about. So I relocated them. I thought, new soil, new neighbors, new beginning. Surely they would thrive and love their new environment.
Clearly.... I was wrong again.
Okay, this is the worst of all. This is not a picture I am proud of, at all. But in my defense, it's not really a garden, yet. When we moved here four years ago, our back yard was pretty much wild foliage, weeds, devils club, false spirea, ferns. It had never been tamed. Every year I tame a new section, aka weeding on my hands and knees constantly, until I get a handle on the problem. Then a new garden takes shape.
This is the last section I have to do. Most of the large wild foliage has been tackled and I'm left with chickweed and other ground covers. For the next two years I'll continue pulling that chickweed and other nasty stuff, over and over again, until it comes in thinner and thinner and eventually, it's manageable. Then a new garden will take form.
So there you have it. I wish I could say the good, the bad, and the ugly. But in this case.... it's sad, but true....