doodle by andre: back to square one

HOW MANY MOMENTS LIKE THIS have we each had in our gardening lives? Moments when the mulch, just applied, by the next morning has run out of the beds and downhill after a flash storm, or the lawn we’d just cleared of winter’s debris is re-covered in it a day later when another swirling snow blows in. Moments when (fill in the blank with your latest mishap). Sometimes I feel like gardening is a series of what as kids we used to call “do-overs,” except I’m not sure I always want the second chance to do the thing again. I guess our dear doodling friend Andre Jordan agrees. You? Any back-to-square-one moments over there at your place lately?

  1. Emily says:

    This past February here in north TX we got hit by a Canadian cold front that brought unusual amounts of ice and snow, and temps down to the single digits. After that wk passed, I thought I was clear to put out my Brassica plants. I did, and 2 days later the NEXT cold front moved in. The temps again fell into the single digits – which had not been predicted – and despite my best efforts to protect the seedlings I lost over half of them.

    PS– yes, in north TX you are supposed to be able to start the Brassicas in early February.

    1. Margaret says:

      Hello to Emily, Shawn, Jean, Meg. I feel your pain — and also the joys. And as Shawn notes, sometimes (often!) we only get the one chance a year with the good stuff. But somehow we all just keep coming back…

  2. Steve says:

    I live due east of Gretchen in Iowa (see comment above) and Chicago too was squarely in the line of that “derecho” on Monday of this week. One of my elms lost a big limb, which sailed down and neatly sliced off a big branch of my favorite serviceberry tree–one I had been babying and which only this spring had finally bloomed. SIGH. Like Gretchen, though, I can’t complain too much, as other neighbors lost entire trees. I won’t even get into the skunks or other critters that are ruining my lawn every night as they burrow for grubs. Every Eden has its serpent, I know, but I’m hoping for better days ahead with more reliable rainfall and less wildlife!

  3. Karen says:

    It’s been a discouraging year for me. I spent a lot of time growing seedlings only to have most of them eaten up by critters when planted. I added chicken wire to my wood fence, and still have critters taking down the bought seedlings I used to replace them. Something, I suspect the groundhogs, have eaten the tomatillo plants and the blueberry bushes I planted. I got the colorado potato beetle on the potatoes, picked them off and used an organic spray that resulted in completely wilted plants the next day. now it’s a raised bed of yellowed willted potato plants. Finally I did a shade garden under a tree. My dad was visiting and offered to help me out, and I told him I needed a branch pruned off the tree that was growing on the roof of the garage. He got over zealous and over pruned the tree, only to make my shade garden a full sun spot, killing the newly planted painted fern and european ginger. Hope the season improves for me!

  4. Balisha says:

    My beautiful basil plants are a favorite snack for the Japanese Beetles. Every plant is chewed on. Everything was looking swell, until the thugs came.

  5. Lynn says:

    I forgot about Japanes Beetles… we had lures set out: lacewings, lady bugs, praying mantis… they lasted one hour … they all gone.

    at least I do not get slugs with a raised bed… my vulchers are racoons, squirrels, and 4 cats from a neighbor in the back..

    I have some basil in pots and in backyard. BASIL will not make it here in a garden.. I have hundreds of mint plants to distract aphids… the squirrels are killing me, not to mention my golden retriever Gerben (just made adulthood in June), who tantalizies me by mouthing every flower and pulling out my bulbs and parading around with them… he thinks he is one up on me! I think he is probably right!

    and we are in for yet another super duper heat wave with all that low pressure and humidity… beginning Sunday..

    1. Margaret says:

      Hi, Kelley. Hail is my least favorite form of precipitation, I have to say. I have a lot of big-leaved perennials that look pretty holey this summer. I always prefer to have rain to a dry season, and feel blessed for it, though I will say generally it has been delivered in violent buckets here too.

  6. elizabeth says:

    Like Gretchen, I live in eastern Iowa. All the sticks from my neighbors’ two plane trees finally cleaned up from the spring and summer storms, more twigs and a large branch deposited.

    Also, like Kate, I have moles. They have not yet dug up the raised beds themselves, but the paths between them. and the lawn. and under my magnolia. and through the hideous four inches of now-weed-infested-rock-mulch-terribleness.

    And my tomatoes have septoria leaf spot. and the eggplants have flea beetles. and the bed where i planted basil has been used as a cat litter box (ah! fluffy compost!).

    A very large do-over coming, I think.

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