Most of the time, gardening is a feeling and with some research and new-found knowledge you plant and sow and usually your garden will grow – with love and lots of watering. In this past year, I have made a few mistakes and tried a few recommended tips and found that they were a waste of time.

My first mistake is that sun-loving plants should not be planted in the shadow of trees or large bushes. I was too impatient to fill the gaps that I did not ask the plant (or read the label!) where they prefer to be planted. So I have a few plants that are not thriving – my Lychnis Coronaria is not doing well at all and I have seen some amazing specimens to know that mine looks anorexic! I now have to re-position them and this is double work – so I have learnt a valuable lesson!

My second mistake or planting boo boo is putting a large shrubby lavender in a small bucket. They are just not thriving. They seem stunted and a mould has begun to form, so my fancy threesome are not happy in their bucket homes. Hmmmm…. I’ll have to find smaller plants that are better suited.  Any suggestions?

Unhappy Lychnis in the shadows!

Lavender just not thriving in the buckets

My third and hard learned lesson is that I mow the grass too close! I am lazy with the mowing and cut the grass short and then I get these bald patches that look ugly and take ages to come right. If I would just cut the grass more frequently and not so short, it would be lush and consistently green. It is not my favourite job but once the lawn is mowed it usually makes the whole front garden look nice and neat! So, now I have to come clean, clean up my act and get that lawn looking tip top!

My forth gardening lesson learnt is that all is not always a “good idea”. I want to be a responsible gardener and try to recycle as much as I can. I have tried the toilet roll inners and have failed miserably with them. I thought it was the best idea ever – all you have to do is plant the seedling directly into the ground (once you have the little darling happily growing in the toilet roll) and you have an added protection from nasties getting to your tender stem. Well, this turned out to be a big flop!  I painstakingly mixed the soil, placed it in the inner roll (quite difficult I must add) and then planted a seed or two into this – it took all afternoon. Watering was difficult too. I didn’t want to drown the seed so I used a small measuring cup and gently poured the water (or feed) into each individual roll…..yup! What a schmuck!!

Bald patch in my lawn

My excited attempt at recycling toilet rolls – planted with basil and tomatoes

Well, this did not  produce a great crop of plants – most of them did not even pop a head out! They remained stunted and looked malnourished! After all the attention and love and great worm tea …..!! I don’t think I will try that again. Oh yes! AND!! The toilet roll was so stiff that I had doubts that they would ever decompose! So, I had to tear them up gently and plant the surviors. You will see the difference in the photos below – the seed in the ground (literally shoved into the ground and watered) looking full of promise in producing a host of tomatoes and the delicately cared for wimp of a plant that looks as if it will take another year before it bears fruit!

Stunted growth from the toilet roll planting

Seeds shoved in the ground at the same time have flourished

Oh the joys of gardening! I have learnt valuable lessons this year!