Category Archives: GOOPs-Gardening Oops

Gardeners’ missteps

GOOPs Day – part deux

Every gardener has blunders.  Come on, admit it, you must have committed a gardening faux pas.  After three-plus decades of gardening I have (maybe one or two?) gardening oops – GOOPs for short.

Today, June 1, is the second GOOPs – Damn-I-wish-I-hadn’t-done-that – Day.  On the first of the month, I share one of my GOOPs, and give you the chance to share one of your own.  The seed idea for GOOPs Day came from Carol at May Dreams Gardens.  The first GOOPs day harvested

But I suspect more dirty little GOOPs are out there.  Here’s another of mine.



Perennial sweet peas – lathyrus latifolius – are great climbers.  Shortly after we moved into our home, I planted them to mask a vent pipe and a downspout.  This worked well for years – we really enjoyed watching hummingbirds gather nectar from the pale to dark pink flowers.  But with time, the vines became more and more unruly and I constantly had to keep their tendrils from attaching to the nearby window screens.  So when we revamped that area of the yard, I decided to try moving these vines to a newly created slope that screamed for an easy-care, attractive, flowering cover.  The key words here are try moving.

06-2005 sweet pea-lathyrus latifolius

Sweet Pea - lathyrus latifolius - vines

Established perennial sweet peas have thick roots that seem to reach to the core of the earth.  The fact that they were growing along the foundation of the house in spots surrounded by bluestone walkways did not make the chore easier.  I’m truly surprised that I was able to uproot any of the plants intact enough for them to survive, but after two seasons the transplanted sweet peas have claimed an ever-expanding section of their new embankment home. The moral of this GOOPs?  Do your homework.  When planting near a structure, plan as much as possible for the plants impact in the short-term and ten or more years out.  In my landscape, sweet pea vines work much better in their current locale where their rampant growth and flowering helps cover an unsightly slope, and the hummingbirds can feed on their nectar with less human intrusion.

Now it’s your turn.  Add your GOOPs in a comment or write a teaser GOOPs that links back to your GOOPs tale on your own blog.  Since we learn best from our mistakes, let’s share our mistakes and learn from each other.



Filed under Gardening, General, GOOPs-Gardening Oops, Perennials & Annuals

Gardening Oops – GOOPs

Welcome to Gardening Oops Day – GOOPs for short.  Here’s the first of my many GOOPs.

I love chives and many years ago when I ‘discovered’ garlic chives (Allium tuberosum), I had to have them.  They’re easy care, attractive, and edible by humans but not sought out by deer.  They send up fresh white flower clusters in August, a big plus in my south-central Connecticut (zone 6) garden, and they attract a ton of pollinating insects.

late summer garlic chive blooms

late summer garlic chive blooms

The first couple of years I allowed my small stand of garlic chives to self seed to insure I had ample offspring for salads (green, potato, egg), marinades, salsas, stir fry, and to provide enough flowers to flavor vinegars for winter salads.  But one year – GOOPs #1 – I missed that critical time between flowering and seed production in what had become quite an extensive garlic chive collection in my perennial, herb, and rose and vegetable garden beds.  Then – GOOPs #2 – when I finally cut the flower stalks I added them to my compost pile … damn-I-wish-I-hadn’t-done-that!  The following year I found garlic chives growing between fieldstone paths and in just about every nook and cranny that was downwind or in the general area of a garlic chives clump.  Plus, since my compost is not really hot, I had garlic chive volunteers the next spring in every area that received compost.  I finally cleared volunteers from the vegetable garden, but years later I’m still digging garlic chive volunteers from between many stone walkways, as shown here. 

garlic chive volunteer

garlic chive volunteer

These babies are not easy to dig from between fieldstone paths.  You need to get down to the bulb, a difficult task in tight areas.

Now I’m ruthless.  I never let flowers seed to maturity, and spent flower stalks go to the outdoor fireplace for burning rather than to the compost pile for composting.  I’m also very careful to not let my garlic chives spread to the wilder edges of the native woodlands in my neighborhood since I can see these plants easily becoming invasive.  I still love garlic chives … their flavor is unique and garlic chive flavored vinegar is my favorite for winter salad dressings.  But now I have enough, and I work hard to keep my supply at enough, rather than too much.

Now share your GOOPs … either add it in a comment below or give a GOOPs tease and a link to your blog’s account of your GOOPs … share every dirty detail.


Filed under Edibles, Gardening, GOOPs-Gardening Oops, Techniques

Quick notes …

Gardening Oops – Damn-I-wish-I-hadn’t-done-that Day – GOOPs for short – May 1.  As previously explained, this Friday I’ll share one of my gardening gaffes and you can do the same, either in entirety in a comment or as a GOOPs teaser that links back to your own blog’s complete GOOPs post.  Maybe we can turn our own damn-I-wish-I-hadn’t-done-that GOOPs into each others’ PHEW-I’m-glad-I-didn’t-do-that!


The chance for frost exists Wednesday night in Connecticut – temperatures could fall into the 30’s over the entire state.  Cover any tender or just transplanted plants in outdoor exposed areas.  Use old sheets, upside down baskets, or other covers that will prevent frost from settling onto tender leaves, but won’t crush the plants.  Protect houseplants moved to outdoor locations for hardening off with either a cloth or bring them back inside for the night.


Remember Project BudBurst – my observations include dandelions’ first bloom which occurred on April 4, and the April 25 leaf out of my tulip tree.  I’ll continue to watch for tulip tree flowers, and for my other observations.


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Filed under Gardening, General, GOOPs-Gardening Oops, Project BudBurst, Seasons, Techniques

Love Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day … now how about a GOOPs Day

We’ve had a cold early spring in Connecticut that is slowing growth to a snail’s pace.  Still, a few blooms thrive to share on Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.


in joene's garden 4-14-09

in joene's garden 4-14-09




narcissus 4-14-09

narcissus 4-14-09


I really enjoyed my first GBBD at May Dreams Gardens in March (thanks to my garden blogging pal Debbie at A Garden of Possibilities for bringing it to my attention).  In fact I think it is such a good idea that I’d like to try something similar, but focused on gardening gaffes, sowing slip-ups, or any mistake related to growing plants – indoors or out.


So, in deference to Carol’s GBBD, I’m declaring May 1, 2009 as Gardening Oops – Damn-I-wish-I-hadn’t-done-that Day – GOOPs for short.  I’ll post my own faux pas en jardin – even mistakes sound sexier when stated in French, n’est-ce pas? – and ask you to do the same.  You can post your entire description here, noting your area/zone if applicable, or just post a GOOPs teaser here along with a link to your own blog where you have more elaborately described your GOOPs.  It could be a garden-related purchase, a bad plant combination or a poor planting choice, results from lack of care, or any misstep remotely related to gardening.  Let’s learn from each other and at the same time have a little chuckle at ourselves.


If someone else has thought of this already … my apologies … no intent to step on anyone’s toes.  The way I see it, gardeners are human so there should be enough GOOPs to go around.


Check back here May 1 … I’ll go first.



Filed under Bloom Day, Bulbs, Gardening, GOOPs-Gardening Oops