Last week, I talked about pleasant surprises in the garden - flowers popping up where they weren't planted and plants that I thought were dead making a reappearance.
But unfortunately, Mother Nature being the fickle mistress that she is, there are sometimes things in the garden that simply don't work out at all.
May I present Exhibit A: A large pot of attractive greens in the cottage garden.
Tribune Chronicle / Mary Beth Wyko
This pot was supposed to be full of flowers, but my investment in stock flowers didn’t pay off.
Sitting in the center of some prolific and lush impatiens, the pot of greens is pretty enough, but that wasn't what I had planned. What I'd wanted was a pot full of daisies. I'd specifically chosen a variety that would grow in the partial shade of the cottage garden, but though I have lots of healthy-looking leaves, not a single flower came up.
Exhibit B is in my full-sun container garden. One of the new varieties of flower I decided to try this year was stock. Though the name might not be familiar, anyone who's received an arrangement from the florist has probably had some stock on display. I was looking forward to the showy double blooms promised on the seed packet.
But once again, I wound up with a pot full of healthy foliage but no flowers. Supposedly, this variety of stock is hardy and heat-resistant, but something about my environment made this stock a bad option.
Exhibit C is perhaps my greatest gardening disappointment this year. Nearly every year I plant a garden, I plant morning glories. The blooms of the "Heavenly Blue" variety are, in my opinion, the most perfect shade of blue. Last year, I decided to take a break from morning glories and try a few new things, but I found that I missed those bright blue flowers too much. I successfully grew some non-climbing morning glories this year - the "Blue Ensign" variety - but though the dark blue flowers were pretty, I wanted the climbing "Heavenly Blues," too.
I planted them late, but my morning glories usually start blooming in August and into September, so I wasn't too concerned. And sure enough, the plants grew quickly and entwined themselves around the back porch railing. But then, disaster. I know that morning glories don't like to be overwatered, and just when I began to notice the signs that the plants might like a couple of days to dry out, it rained for nearly an entire week. The plants never fully recovered, and I didn't get a single flower.
I'm hanging on to a desperate hope that the plants still might bounce back, but that hope is getting slimmer by the day.
The beauty of gardening is that there's always next year. I don't think I'll be gambling on stock when I start planning my garden for 2013, but I will likely try the daisies somewhere else, and my morning glories will be in the ground a little earlier.
Share your gardening hints and tips with me at firstname.lastname@example.org