The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Garden Edition) | Days of Chalk and Chocolate

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Garden Edition)

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Every spring Jim and I drop a stupid amount of money at the garden center instead of our kids' 529s. We get seduced by the gorgeous hot-house grown plants and walk around with the big flat handcart instead of the regular old shopping cart. We know that a puny shopping cart will not be able to hold all the plants and bushes we will plant and lovingly coach into huge mountains of garden delights.

 What this means is that Jim and I live every spring in an eternal state of hope. THIS will be the year!  The hydrangeas will bend with blossoms the size of melons. (OMG which reminds me of this time my BFF and I were coming out of a dance club and a drunk guy asked her "How are your melons smellin?" Charming). The roses will bare-knuckle fight each other for a spot to bloom.  The lavender will grow so big and so lush that all the linen that is in my basement waiting to be sewn into something will ache to be joined with it it in sweet little sachets. 

What does Dr. Phil say?  The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior?   So logically we should know that this is a daydream and all we will grow is mounds of dirt topped with mulch.  . Anything that we do manage to grow will get eaten by those sonsofbitches deer.

Which brings me to my current state of gardening affairs which I like to call The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Here is The Good:  We purchased an IncrediBall hydrangea last year and it was a twig when we last left it. It didn't have a blossom and it was less than a foot tall. It was a sad, sad, hydrangea. I fully expected it to off itself over winter. Instead though it grew to over 4 feet tall!  And yes, those sonsofbitches deer have taken a few inches off in some areas but I'm ok with it since it seriously took off!  You can't even see all the blooms it has.


Now The Bad:

Last year my sister-in-law sprinkled some wildflower seeds over a mound of dirt. What popped up was a mass of brightly colored zinnias. There was easily a trillion!  I can do that! I purchased a large bag of wildflower seeds and planted them here and there and in some pots. Anxiously I awaited my vibrant flowers to spring to life. Here is what I got.

WEEDS.  I successfully grew planters full of weeds. Yay me.

Now The Ugly:

Our driveway is lined with hedges, not sure the kind, but they get trimmed into neat round balls. This year we decided to let the flowers bloom on them which means they had to grow out of their shape. Then we got some rain and they are flailing every which way now.  It's almost as if they are all trying to pick up the same dollar bill. Or they are the senators trying to stab Caesar. I think this is actually called growing willy nilly.  But the purple-pink flowers are so pretty that we couldn't bring ourselves to shape them up. Sorry neighbors!

flowers bushes summer spring garden

What are your gardening successes this year? 



  1. My gardening success is calling the landscaper to cut the grass and trim, and today they dug out some vincas that are so prolific they sprout by themselves. I guess the seeds fly around in the wind and grow wherever they land. But the Knock-Out-Roses are blooming wonderfully, even though we need rain. Your hydrangeas need patience, I think. They'll be better every year. And the pink bushes on the driveway are great - don't touch them until they are done blooming. Love, your Master Gardener Wanna-Be!

  2. I gave up on hydrangeas years ago and planting flowers from seed is a lesson in frustration for me. Roses, on the other hand, are foolproof and manage to carry on every year with minimal attention. That's my kind of flower!

  3. I planted an Annabelle Hydrangea last year and with all the rain we had this year in the mid-west I had some days where the hydrangea was in standing water so it got root rot. The leaves wilted and looked like it didn't get enough water but when I took it back to the nursery they said it had too much water and had root rot. :( So I am starting all over with it in a different spot that doesn't get as much water. My endless summer hydrangea hasn't bloomed in 3 years.....I think it needs more sun. So, next year I am transplanting it to a different spot. So don't feel bad about your hydrangea. Its growing and looking great....minus the deer. :)

  4. I love this post, I definitely relate with your first sentence. Except its my retirement fund that is getting funded, its my yard. I keep lying and saying well I'll just have a "yard sale" with shovels when I am 65. lol

    My success story so far is most of my hydrangeas I bought this year are still alive. But I have mother nature to thank for that, because it has rained here almost everyday since Spring first started. Ask me in 2 weeks how they're doing if it stops.

    My failure is that I have one large planting bed surrounding my a/c unit and a mulberry tree in it also. The tree finally sprouted and dropped berries, right in the garden bed. Know what happens when berries fall? They rot and then flies come in. So this bed and the tree are going to go bye bye! I am living in a steven king movie when I walk in the back. The smell of vinegar and flies, not good. LOL

    I am so glad your hydrangea is doing great, but I want to give you a heads up...if that is the same version as mine, it is going to get huge, so this fall you may want to transplant it about 3 feet away from your fence. Mine, after 5 years, is 7 feet tall and about 10 feet around.


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