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The Latest Garden Lessons Learned

As Summer turns to Autumn it’s time take part in the quarterly gardening meme by PlantPostings called โ€œGarden lessons learnedโ€œ. Looking back over the last three months and taking stock of the garden reminds me of the lessons I’ve learnt over the Summer months. Just when I thought I was becoming a fully fledged gardener, Mother Nature dished up Summer and cut me down to size – and I humbly concede that I still have a very long way to go…

Garden Lessons Learned in Summer

These are the Lessons I learned this season …

1. Summer is for sitting back and enjoying the fruits of ones labour
I spent many hot sunny weekends on the back terrace watching the birds, reading, relaxing and enjoying my garden. Really enjoying it! And I made lots of plans for the garden and accomplished very little. No matter … that’s what the next six months will be for. Preparing the garden for next spring and summer.

2. Summer is not my favourite “gardening season”
Of everything I learnt, the most obvious to me was that Summer is not my favourite gardening time. I just don’t have the same energy levels in Summer as I do during the rest of the year. It just gets to darn hot out there to accomplish a whole lot. My ritual of making a list of chores on a Saturday morning resulted in tasks being carried over from week to week because I just can’t do heavy digging and physical chores in the heat of summer. Even the few overcast days were not cool enough to get much done. I have a VERY long list of “Gardening Things to Do” now.

[one_third]First Anemone of the SeasonFirst Anemone of the Season[/one_third]

[one_third]The gorgeous SunbirdThe gorgeous Sunbird[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Bits of colour in the gardenColour in the rose bed[/one_third_last]

3. Don’t forget about the flowers
At the end of Spring I listed “It not just about the flowers” as one of my Spring Garden lessons learned. Hmm … I was on a bit of a ‘foliage kick’ at that time as I had discovered the joys of gardening with foliage. So much so that I really did forget about flowers. Luckily I had gorgeous foliage to admire and delight in over the summer months as I really had forgotten to consider what would flower in summer. I had flowers but no “show stopping” display of gorgeous blooms.Next year I need to pay some attention to this so that there is always something flowering.

4. Plant at recommended distances!
Haven’t we had this before? Duh … I didn’t follow my own advice and now I’m going to be lifting and replanting as soon as the weather cools down enough. Again.

5. Attracting birds to the garden
I discovered the joy of observing birds in my garden and I learnt a bit about attracting different birds. Using different feeders, seeds and fruits I was soon rewarded with a few “new” visitors. Lovely!

[one_third]My roses were lovelyIceberg Roses were lovely[/one_third]

[one_third]Lots of new birds cameLots of new birds came[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Still loving all the foliageStill loving all the foliage[/one_third_last]

6. I learnt about sterile plants
I discovered that Petunias don’t attract any bees and bugs. It’s a bit strange to me not to have insect activity around plants and I think I might be planting an alternative next year. Might. I do like how they provide easy summer colour in my Camellia bed. I hope I can find something else with a similar habit and requirements for that spot.

7. I can do it organically (mostly)
Besides an organic snail and slug product I use, I have not used anything chemical in my garden for the last nine months. And I’ve had less aphids this summer than in the years before. There were beetles and bugs and all kinds of interesting creatures, but I never felt the need to kill any as they were always present in small numbers. I hope it stays this way! I prefer not having to spray – and its a lot less work this way too.

8. Write down plant names before planting
My memory clearly is not as good as I think it is and I have forgotten the exact names of a few of the plants I’ve planted. Why didn’t I write them down?

[one_third]Brachycombe Daisy in potsBrachycombe Daisy in pots[/one_third]

[one_third]And up close and personalAnd up close and personal[/one_third]

[one_third_last]One of my “other” pets ๐Ÿ™‚One of my "other" pets :)[/one_third_last]

So what lessons have you learned this season? Please share with us โ€“ we learn so much from reading these types of post by experienced gardeners, so join in and head over to Plant Postings to add the link to your โ€œGarden Lessons Learnedโ€ post so we can share in your gardening lessons!

Happy Gardening

PS: Weโ€™ve updated our Facebook Page – If you are on Facebook, please โ€œLikeโ€ our page โ€ฆ weโ€™ll be so happy if you do.

[note_box]New here? If you would like to get involved in the gardening blog community, consider joining a blog meme. Click to see a list at Gardening Blog Memes.[/note_box]

[one_third]The lovely Mexican PetuniaThe lovely Mexican Petunia[/one_third]

[one_third]In the back shade gardenIn the back shade garden[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Love my Iceberg RosesLove my Iceberg Roses[/one_third_last]

By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no โ€œfull sunโ€ areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge โ€ฆ

27 replies on “The Latest Garden Lessons Learned”

I save all my plant tags so I have a name and picture (sometimes) to go with it. I also don’t like doing heavy duty gardening in the summer. It’s just too hot. I also usually avoid plants that don’t attract wildlife. They really stand out when they’re ignored by all the bees and butterflies. Your garden looks beautiful to me so you must have done a lot more right than wrong. :o)

Those are great tips….especially remembering the names of the plants you put into the ground:) I forgot to do that the first few times and I remember kicking myself for forgetting the names to keep my journal in order! Gardening is an art…and summer is a time for enoying the magic of planning:)

I sometimes plant too close too, although these days it’s often on purpose. It’s the impatient part of me that wants to see things fill in faster. I figure I can always thin/move plants later. You’re right though, it does make for extra work. I’m glad you’re finding going organic to be working for you. Occasionally a ravenous beastie tries to run amok in the garden, even in ours, but usually there’s a natural predator lurking not too far behind. I’ve loved seeing the new and wonderous creatures that show up in the garden. None so beautiful as your sunbirds though…just stunning!

Love your first lesson ๐Ÿ™‚ – I took that lesson early in the summer months. I also just LOVE LOVE the terracotta pots with the daisies! Simply elegant!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh my goodness, so many great lessons Christine! And you are an amazing gardener! I love the three planters on the steps–such a simple, but lovely design. I might have to borrow it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much for joining in the meme. Glad to hear you’re going organic, too! It’s really not that difficult with companion planting. Cheers!

Hmmm. I relearn nearly every lesson nearly every year. I’m pathetic that way. I have never quite noticed sterile plants because mine are all in a mismash, but I do find that fascinating. I have nothing in my garden that is loved quite as much as the salvias though.

Many of the lessons you learned in your summer are lessons I learn in summer. It is a time to relax…if I work too much in that hot sun, it is not good. And I love watching the birds…one of my favorite things to do.

I think we forget to relax in our eagerness to “do” something more. But the heat knocked any desire to work right out of me this year. LOVE my birdies! So rewarding.

My labels tend to go walk about. Since I use the computer – photos and blog posts – to record the garden, I’ve learnt to photograph a newly planted bed then write the names on the photo. Or rename the photo with the plant’s name. In theory, but I still have many … species, or a new variety of …

Wow these are great lessons for us all…I agree that summer is my least fav of the garden months here because of the heat…I also am guilty of violating planting distances…I find it interesting that pollinators don’t visit the petunias…I could swear they visit mine but you know who loves my petunias, hummers…and I love them for their ease of maintenance in the summer heat…of course I am planting the old fashioned variety and the Supertinias

I think I’m going backward with #4 – I used to be very good at that, but now I stuff as many plants in there as possible! ๐Ÿ™‚ I can definitely relate to #2. I’m trying very hard to get my chores done now, because soon it will be too hot. And I love your #1 – sometimes we forget to just sit back and enjoy our gardens. I’m going to try to remember that one more! Great lessons!

I’m glad you mentioned the petunias, as I was curious. I understand their attraction (masses of no-hassle color all summer long) but to me they seem just one step away from plastic flowers. Heck, even some of my grasses attract pollinators so I definitely expect the blooms in my yard to.

Hi Alan – In fact I think it was you that first alerted me to the sterileness of some flowers. And I agree, its a step away from artificial, so whats the point. It was a dissapointing revelation to me. Heck, even the odd ant or aphid on them would make them more fun to have around. I hope I can find an alternative for that spot. Nothing else has worked there yet.

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