I wonder what will come back.

I planted some perennials last year. Some did well. Others failed miserably. I’m eagerly awaiting the return of any plants that survived the winter.

See, I’m a very beginning gardener. I also have the unfortunate habit of getting disinterested in various hobbies at various times, which is not good for living things. My houseplants are a prime example; I tend to forget to water them during the winter, and a few plants that I had intended to transplant outside have died during their dormant season as a result of my neglect.

I also am unsure about simple things, like when to mulch and when not to mulch, or how to prepare a flower bed and with what, and so on. Some of these things I can learn online or in books — still, though, it seems like so much to remember! This isn’t intuitive to me as it is to some.

Anyway, let me give a rundown of what may or may not return for the Spring of 2006…

Tiger Lilies – Got a trash bag full of bulbs from Scott at work last Fall. Planted a few next to the back door, planted a few in the back yard by the fence on the other side of the house, and just plopped some down next to the house without actually planting them, as Scott had said that he had done something similar. I only discovered tonight that the latter were raked up by Aaron during his final stint of leaf-raking. My bad. However, the ones that I actually planted are starting to show some foliage already — hopefully, not too soon. It’s supposed to snow in a few days.

Miniature Daffodils – Sheryl gave me a couple pots of these for my birthday last year, and I planted them under a tree in our front yard. These, too, are starting to show a little bit of foliage, as I had mentioned earlier. Again, I hope these don’t freeze.

Lavender – This I planted by the mailbox last spring/summer. I read that lavender doesn’t bloom when first planted, and will bloom only in the second year. Assuming that the winter didn’t kill it somehow, this should be the year. The foliage is still there, and it doesn’t look too dead, so I’m optimistic about it.

Moonbeam Coreopsis – Another mailbox flower from last year. Cute little yellow flowers and narrow, needle-like leaves. The coreopsis did really well during the summer, when other flowering plants couldn’t take the heat, so I’m hoping that it comes back to flower again.

Calamint – This is one of several plants I got from a coworker with the greenest thumb I’ve ever seen. At some point in April or May, she brought in a slew of seedlings that she’d culled from her garden. I snagged some Morning Glory (which are supposedly annuals, but we’ll see), some snapdragons (another annual, but one that did relatively well), the lavender I mentioned, and the calamint. This calamint is supposed to be non-invasive… but I really wouldn’t care if it were. Might give it a better chance of growing under my questionable care.

Hybrid Tea RoseBrandy variety. Almost killed it during the winter of 2004/2005 by not covering it with leaves of mulch. It did come back, though, although it didn’t bloom. Forgot to cover it again this winter — or, rather, didn’t get around to it before the first snow of the season. I’m crossing my fingers that it survived the winter again this year, but I’m not counting on it. One year was luck. Two years would be too much to ask.

And that’s everything I can hope will come back. I do have a long planter full of parsley, which is supposed to be biennial, but that was more of a test. We don’t actually eat parsley very often, so it was kind of stupid to grow it. I also have a few more Rose of Sharon plants that I haven’t killed yet (although it’s difficult to tell, since they leaf and bloom so late in the season). I’m planning to transplant one or two of those outside ASAP, before they come out of dormancy, and live with Aaron making fun of the dead sticks I will have planted in the yard as obstacles to his mowing.

I intend to make yet another valiant effort to grow something under the overhang of our split-level this year. I’ve only had luck with the annual impatiens, but I’d like to get some perennials growing under there. Better Homes and Gardens had a feature about shade plants recently, so I’m taking a cue from them. I’m planning to try some… um… oh, crap, where did that page go?! Dude, that sucks. I hope I find that. I’d even gone through my plant encyclopedia and noted all the properties of each plant to make sure it would work. Dammit. Ah, well… maybe it’ll turn up. At any rate, I’m *going* to plant something there this year. Again.

I keep killing things, but eventually I’ll find plants that can withstand my neglect and ignorance and continue to grow despite me.

2 thoughts on Pre-Gardening

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  1. This is why I stick with mums. Yeah, everyone has mums, but who cares. I plant them because it is next to impossible to kill them. I did, but that’s because I cut them down too far.
    Won’t make that mistake again. This year if I keep the house, there will be mums returning again!!!

  2. y’know, i thought about mums, but they need full sun to do well, and most of our yard is shade. that makes things mighty difficult.