As an avid gardener, I’ve learned that each year brings new challenges and opportunities to grow and experiment. Looking back on the past three years of my gardening journey, I’ve experienced everything from failures to successes, and I’d like to share some of my experiences with you.
In 2020, I made early plans to dive into gardening that year. I had a good instinct that the lockdown would last longer than hoped. Figuring that gardening would be “easy,” we drove to Home Depot, bought a bunch of stuff, and came home and decided to start a flower bed. We had just moved into that house in 2019 and didn’t see ourselves leaving.
It was a challenging year for all of us, to say the least. No sooner had we planted, put in a sidewalk, and started to get settled did we realize that house wasn’t going to work for our growing family in the middle of a pandemic. We made a sudden move. Unfortunately, I killed half of the plants in my first serious gardening attempt, and the rest had to be left behind when we moved. Only one plant made the transplant trip.
Despite the setbacks, I experimented with plants like wax myrtles, a lilac tree, a hydrangea tree, ferns, wildflowers, blackberries, a dark purple dahlia, and roses. I also tried growing blueberry bushes, tomatoes, and lily of the valley. Although it was an experimental year, it taught me a lot about what does and doesn’t work and to listen when the experts tell you to know the basics.
In 2021, we focused on finishing the pool and getting a feel for the growing conditions here. We planted a little bit but concentrated on getting the layout right. We worked on new flower beds, put the vegetable garden in the front yard, and invested in a few new trees. I started new projects, such as a hollyhock and a milkweed garden to attract monarch butterflies. Although it was a challenging year, I learned to adapt and be patient with gardening.
In 2022, the milkweed and hollyhock gardens took over, and I was delighted to see the beautiful monarch butterflies that came to visit. However, we faced other challenges in the vegetable garden. A bed full of melons and squash became somewhat unruly. Several of my roses succumbed to black spot and another gnarly disease that I’m still trying to manage. On the positive side, we planted a ton of strawberries, a flourishing horseradish plant, and a raised bed full of asparagus that just needed some weeding before it could grow again.
So many lessons were learned in those reflections! I’ll share these in our Gardening Workshop Q&A on the first Friday of March.
I’m excited to tackle new challenges in my garden, such as planting a beautiful crepe myrtle tree, better strategizing the vegetable garden, and reviving the asparagus bed. I hope to share more updates on my gardening journey in the future, and I hope my experiences can help others on their gardening adventures. Stay tuned for more updates on the blog this summer!