Thursday, September 2, 2010

Odds are...

If you have been gardening long enough in one place, odds are you have made a few mistakes.

I certainly have.  There are times I purchased and planted something in a spot because it looked good there at that moment, without taking into consideration the light, drainage or space requirements.
I have mint that for years was perfectly well behaved until the year it wasn't.  I spend hours now cursing myself, cutting it back to make room for anything and everything else in the bed it dominates.  It is a lot of work but that smell!  Is there anything more delicious than working with mint?  Maybe I let it go just a little bit on purpose.  Certainly the bees are happy when I do.

There were times when capricious weather did my plants in.  A colder than usual spell took a tecoma stans I couldn't shelter adequately, and a dry spell eliminated a New Guinea impatiens because I decided long ago not to try to keep anything that needed daily watering.  Not to mention the free lance landscaping courtesy of our neighborhood deer.

Occasionally,  it all goes well.  Some of the time because I made a well informed choice, more often than not because I got lucky.
This year the basil I seeded in with the wildflowers has tolerated my neglect and is doing quite well.
This year one of several morning glory vines I planted survived long enough to come into its own.  I can't help it y'all, I get a little weak at the knees over blue flowers.
This year, out admiring my blue flowers close up, I was reminded how glad I am to have gathered the seeds from a thick stand of purple ruellia in a public parking lot bed (after getting permission from the owners).  I like the pink and it has replanted itself liberally.  The purple seems more well mannered however and I do love the color.
Last but certainly not least, once again this year, I fell back in love with my Texas Kidneywood (Eysenhardtia texana) for its delicate leaf structure and its wonderfully fragrant white flower spikes.
It has persevered through cold, heat, drought, deluge, crowding out and severe trimming back.  Best of all it keeps coming back for more.  Sort of like I do.

7 comments:

  1. OH we have certainly made our share of mistakes and has some wonderful accidents too. :-)

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  2. RandJ: The wonderful accidents are a delight. I think I enjoy the times I get it right accidentally most of all. Of course, I tend to take credit for all that wonderfulness occasionally. IE "Why yes, I DID realize how stunning that (seeded itself) orange cosmos would look with the purple Moses in a Boat, thank you very much!"...

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  3. That is a post and a half. Or actually, a three patch post if not a three pipe problem.
    And yes, Basil smells even better than mint. I have some on the kitchen windowsill and the aroma is delish.
    And a new you holding the moon. Fetching image.
    There was me getting impressed with your stealing seeds, and then you tell us you asked permission. Disappointing :-)

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  4. Jo - Sorry to disappoint. My Dad used to steal plants and seeds without a second thought but I was with my own children at the time and felt I should set a better example. I agree that Basil smells better than mint but I never had the need to try and keep basil from taking over an entire bed. I really like working in rosemary as well (and lavender and thyme...).

    Kat - You'll note I did close focus on those blooms. Most of what we have right now has been just hanging on, waiting for cooler nights along with the rest of us.

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  5. This is great! Believe me, have I made my share of mistakes. Fall in love with a plant until you get to know it, yowsers. It's so funny, though, I can't keep mint alive!!

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  6. Hi Linda! Yowsers for real. I have killed my fair share of mint. I suppose that is how I ended up ignoring the warnings to keep it contained. Live and learn!

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Rollingwood, Central Texas
Family historian by default. Oldest surviving matriarch on my branch of the Family Tree. Story teller, photo taker, gardener, cook, blabbermouth.