By Failing To Prepare, You Are Preparing To Fail.

05 Sep

Is it just me, or does everybody get a bit over excited when planning a border or planter in their garden?  Especially when wondering around our top choice nursery and seeing all the pretty plants in all their marvellous shapes, sizes and colours.  I get way too adventurous, overthink all my options and want to buy everything, regardless of the price.  This is where I run amok.  I want to buy every plant I can, mush them all into a border and I think it’ll look fabulous regardless. 


It’s okay to admit if you do the same thing.  We all do.  It’s part of the learning process of being a gardener.


Planning is important … Especially thinking ahead.



Sure, that cute little Choisya Aztec Pearl is dainty and small now, but within a few years it can easily be over a meter tall and twice as wide.  Not great if you plonk it at the front of your border, in front of the rose your mother-in-law gave you. 



In my case I got a Euphorbia and several Petunias for a medium sized planter.  They out grew EVERYTHING ELSE. In the picture you can see how everything seems nice and snug, cozy and everyone is getting along. But I planted this up thinking only about the sizes of the plants as they were, not what they’d be like. The poor Bidens, Dianthus, Heuchera and Uncinia that were also in the planter stuffed massively due to the overpowering Euphorbia and Petunias.  Thankfully, I removed the large, over powering plants and replaced them with much smaller, more size appropriate plants.  Everything is happy now!


My mistake was not taking the time to look at the overall growth size that is usually listed on the plant label.  Doing that could have saved me a lot of time and money. Plan ahead.


This next example is a little bit trickier.



These Cosmos has just gone absolutely barmy.  I’ve never known them to grow so big.  This photo is a little bit old now, but only by a couple of weeks.  They’ve easily grown another few inches since.  Behind this sprawl of Cosmos are two climbers that are barely visible due to the height the overpowering Cosmos has got to.  Hidden below are also some great looking Antirrhinum (Snap Dragons) that have just about managed to poke their heads out and soak up some sun while they can.


The error here was the bed I planted them in.  Cosmos can grow wide and can spread out a bit.  A bed this small (It’s barely a couple feet wide) isn’t suitable for them at all.  They really need to be in a bed that’s a lot wider and longer, with not much behind them.


So that’s a brief lesson in why you should pre-plan and pay attention to where you want to plant.  Don’t make the same mistake that I made!  But if you do, at least it’s an easy one to learn from, and you still get flowers from it!

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