Lessons Learned…Finally

My gardening style revolves around buying whatever catches my eye and finding a spot for it later. I could write a book about my mistakes. Like it or not, the key to success is planting the right plant in the right location.

Many of my poor choices limped along for days, weeks or even months until it died. Others spread like wildfire or otherwise took over the space. Annuals are rarely problems for more than a season or two. That’s one reason I’ve been reluctant to plant anything else.

The right spot is especially important for longer-lived plants. Previous owner(s) here made some poor choices. I’m not judging. Folks living at my former residences have likely cursed some of my choices too. The pictures show roughly the same areas now and when I moved here eleven years ago.

The second reason I’ve stuck to annuals thus far is an inability to commit. The yard isn’t big enough for all my favorites. Sticking to annuals gave me a chance to deal with problem plants, fix drainage issues, and improve the soil.

Eleven years later, I think I may possibly be almost ready for some long-term commitments. The problems are mostly gone or fixed. I’ve learned annuals in some areas perform much better than the same varieties planted elsewhere in the yard. Time to replace annuals with something better suited to those sites.

I hadn’t noticed how much the pine trees behind the house have grown until putting this post together. Two magnolias, a pecan tree, and two loropetalum were removed. The lawn is zoysia rather that Bermuda. The dry streambed was replaced with a drainage ditch linked directly to downspouts.

Determining my most favorite plants is no longer necessary–like coming up with such a list was ever possible. Instead, I’ll think about which of my many favorites is best suited to the site. That should help. I’ll keep you posted.