Planning

Let us put the eye candy up front, in this post.

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I heart lantana

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Oh how I heart lantana

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I wish I could remember what this plant was. It is as tall as the foxglove and, like the foxglove, fell over in the storm. Its flowers are enormous… I would say that dolls could use them for teacups, or humans use them to drink Turkish coffee.

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The numerous achillea plants are budding, hooray! I can hardly wait to be reminded of what colors I bought.

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And I finally mulched and caged the vegetable bed, props to me. Having started with four tomatoes, three pepper plants, and two eggplants, I now have five tomato plants, two pepper plants, and zero eggplants. The tomatoes have been victims of the winds, and I have lost plants because their main stems were snapped in two. I have replaced them enthusiastically and easily (because the garden center is still stocking them, unlike the other two) and ended up with, I hope, five. One pepper plant was nipped off at the base by a very naughty critter who, I hope, learned a lesson from the experience. Both eggplant were also eaten by animals–though to tell the truth they looked none too healthy beforehand anyway.

As this year’s garden is really getting into gear (several inches of rain last week… yes you heard right, INCHES!, and now it’s hot and sunny so things will really start to grow), I am learning my lessons from this year’s mistakes and making a more careful plan for next year. Here are my main points:

1. Buy vegetable plants at the garden center instead of ordering them from Burpee. I’m going to have to replace half the stuff I put in anyway, and the garden center has a pretty rockin’ selection of interesting heirloom varieties–especially if you hit it in that sweet spot right in the middle of May.

2. Forget trying to grow anything, except possibly morning glories and cucumbers, from seed. It just isn’t worth it. I have just chucked the sweet peas as non-starters and the zucchini–yes you heard me right the zucchini–never even came up. The seed part of the perennial bed is an unmulched, weed-ridden headache. Fuggedaboudit.

3. I must try harder to control the color palette on my deck. Right now, the place is a riot of mismatched hues, and it doesn’t make me happy. Next summer? Focus on pink and orange, allowing modest forays in bits of yellow, hot red, and flaming magenta.

4. I must figure out something else to do with morning glories. I will probably seed them directly into the back of the vegetable bed, and let them grow up bamboo supports.

5. Move all of the achillea to the front of the perennial bed, so that I can fill in the back with things that are actually tall.

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