Thursday, April 5, 2012

Garden Missteps: "When Good Yards Go Bad" in my own backyard!

You'd think I'd have run the gamut of mistakes after these past few years, but I have outdone myself with a first time mistake that I'm surprised I lasted as long as I did without committing.

It has to do with color combinations.  Generally, I stick to the pink, light pink, light purple, blue, and white areas.  I have one potted Bush Daisy that throws in a shot of yellow but otherwise there has been no variance from this scheme. Ever.

Angelonia in the background doing what its supposed to be doing, last year.
Most of my garden is perennials and shrubs so you would think it would be hard to mess up and already 'set in dirt' color scheme that was working just fine, but I did.  You see, every year I plant one major flat of annuals: angelonia.  It grows and blooms all year no matter how sunny and hot it gets, and I have to say, it is the ONLY one so far I have found that fits that bill.  I buy an entire flat of it, and infill around the perennials that are slow to poke up.  I love it because it looks lovely all push over as those same perennials fill in, or upright it has a nice shape of its own.

Anyhow, this year I went out to get my flat and WOAH!  I saw this midnight reddish dark purple flat, and fell in love.  It was in the purple family, though redder than most of the bluish purples that I have, and I thought, this is WAY better than the white and very pale pink angelonia I have been planting every year.  So I snapped up the flat and headed home, quickly plopping the small squares all over my garden.

Nicely matched angelonia and pink veronica, yeah...last year

And now, my garden is a painted trollop.  I also purchased some pineapple sage earlier this year (which is already blooming thanks to summertime weather), and the extra bush daisy (europs) I buy for my Mom each spring, between the two it looks like my mac n cheese when to mardi gras.
And imagine...this stuff will get 4x larger. 

So the purple has to go.  Not sure what I'm going to do with it.  Right now I've lined up a few in some dirt meant to be used for something not reddish purple.  It doesn't match ANYTHING!!!  What was I thinking?  The pineapple sage is going too and those pots on the patio pavers...all to my Mom in one week.  She's got 5 acres of gardens, she can hide this stuff somewhere. Whew.  This garden is not me. Heaven forbid when those roses bloom.  I'm not sure I even like the pink anymore!

And onto another mistake I just did a few minutes ago.... pruning a rose that mixes in nicely with the star jasmine, snip snip snip, and I realize, I just cut the jasmine.  In the middle somewhere.  I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see which part of the vine is no longer attached  sigh. Nothing like a dead bunch of jasmine climbing in with the rest.

Okay, here's a few pictures in the garden of things that look good.
Iceberg blooming by the front drive

Madame Alfred Carriere Rose by the back door

MAC a little closer
Million bells in a pot, that one purpley bloom is taunting me

By the ugly brown wall with new ugly 5" pipe
Star Jasmine perfuming every breath, everywhere
Oenethera, I hate this plant, but its pretty, and not garish. Just mega invasive evil.
I have some work to do.  Have you ever done this?  "Improved" your way into something that was better left as is?


  1. Jess, I'm glad to learn that I'm not the only one who makes those embarrassing pruning mistakes. I've lost count of how many times I've followed a problematic branch back and thought I knew exactly what I was cutting off, only to discover that I had somehow cut off a part of the plant I didn't want to lose. Aargh! -Jean

  2. Hi Jess. "Painted trollop" - you're too funny.

    Are you certain you aren't being a bit too hard on yourself? I think your new combination is lovely! Perhaps it's just that you aren't quite comfortable outside your "comfort zone" yet.

    I quite like your little "statement"; it's an unexpected surprise to the viewer's eye.

    Debra, Gardens Inspired

  3. I think it looked great, and I prefer blues, purples, whites, pinks...but throw in red and yellow all the time. I am just drawn to red. Your garden is looking marvelous!

  4. Well Jess I can't tell you how many plants I have butchered with pruning or thrown away thinking it was deda when it was not...and I have to say I love the red, yellow and purple...I tend to combine shades and change my pots every year with whatever moves me with have to feel comfortable though and if the color isn't you then you are doing the right thing...

  5. I LOVE YOUR NEW PLANTINGS!!!! There's a booty shakin' good time waiting to happen in a garden that fun. :o) I like bright colors and purposely plant red, purple, and yellow together. :o) Maybe you just need to live with it a bit longer before you decide you really hate it.

  6. Oh heck yes!! I've "improved" many an area into something quite awful, but you are fortunate to have a Mom with lots of space to hide your mistakes :). I'm still living with a few of mine. BUT ... I don't think yours is that bad at all. I like all the colours, but I can understand about moving the red out. (How strange, I also bought a pineapple sage and its clashing with everything!). I too love the whites, pinks and blues and have a garden full of Star Jasmine. Just love that scent in spring.

  7. Just snip off the offending red blossoms and keep that fragrant pineapple sage. It is worth having for the herbal qualities.

    Gather all the purples together, plant them in a wad and put the million bells near them. Taper off with paler pinks. I think it's the purple dots that offends with a clown pants effect.

    Your Star Jasmine will grow back.

    1. i would thumbs up this advice if there was such a button on blogger. :)

  8. I love your color combinations. Mardis gras in the garden? Heck yeah! It would feel like a party every time I would go out to prune/weed.

    I am definitely impressed by your array of flowers... I tend to focus all of my time on my veggie garden, and my flower beds tend to get neglected.

  9. I love the painted trollop look! But that's just me. If you really can't stand it, plant the offending colored plants in pots - you can then move them around, or even completely out!

  10. Hey Jess, i have lost your email , address, phone, etc. I deleted a bunch of emails in my aol mail a few weeks ago, so I guess I lost you in the shuffle. Anyway, I was possibly heading down Wed. or Thursday this week, time-wise maybe 10:30 or 12:30 or whatever. I won't take too long, I know you are busy, I have some other things to do in Charleston too.My email again is Maybe we can work this out sometime soon, take care! Gina

  11. Well, it turns out that pineapple sage red was really the thing that wasn't for me! When I moved it, and the extra bush daisy away from the purples all the sudden I liked it again. I don't have a single stick of red in the garden and now I know why. I do like the smell of the stuff though...

    Gina - I'm emailing you... I'm going to erase your comment so you don't get spam.

  12. Um, yeah. All the time. Usually I do my biggest pruning blunders in the evening as daylight is fading. I'll think, "Oh I'll just finish this one bush," and then whack. I've cut off a branch or a flower stem just getting ready to bloom or something else that I shouldn't have.

    My suggestion for the erroneous angelina, pot it up! Use a nice big pot and put it somewhere away from the flowers it clashes with. No point in wasting it.

    I'm like you, preferring the pinks and purples. I also like reds that veer towards purple. Any warm toned-flowers are not welcome in my garden. Maybe we're both kind of snooty that way but having a limited color palette makes all the difference, right?

  13. i am always getting myself in trouble in the garden! i can't stick to that "sweeps of color" thing, or "drifts of one plant." i love everything! i try to keep it yellow in winter and early spring, white/pink/blue in late spring, then some peach and burgundy in summer. anything goes in fall as long as it blooms. maybe if i live to be 100 it will turn out that way. ~daricia

  14. oh the jasmine! drat. I've made that mistake more than a few times, lopping off a huge chunk of healthy plant and leaving behind the dead mess that was supposed to be chopped off. Never feels any better no matter how many times I do that. Glad you kept those lovely purple blooms, I really liked those but red is hard to work with. I love red but struggle with trying to find workable combinations in the garden involving red.