I'm new to gardening and think I've made HUGE mistake...
Hi! I'm not only brand new to gardening but also to the forum. Thank you for having me! I think I've made a giant mistake and HOPE you can help me!
I've been living in a condo for some 28 years and have a prime location on the golf course. Desirous to sell and move to SFH soon I decided to make mine different from all the cookie cutter condos, now inhabited predominantly by renters who, while being nice people, are NEVER going to do things like plant flowers, etc., to enrich values of homes or embellish esthetics. It's just the nature of renters. SO I decided to invest BIG in my own but I may have made a fatal error OR perhaps you can help me.
This last spring the association announced that instead of doing anything else. AND I mean that ...they take a LOT of money and do VERY little except for the grass and plow snow unless a board member wants something special...this year they (association board president, hereon called "ABP") wanted their own, ant infested yards heavily mulched, stone paved, and flowers put in but ONLY to theirs. The rest of us just got mulch. LOTS of mulch and NOTHING else. I had to go out and buy my own grass seed as the grass all died leaving me with a mud yard. Intolerable so $200 later I have some grass that they mow occasionally. Wondering why I want to sell and scram to a single family home?!? I think not.
I, one of zippo gardening experience, found that the ground was suddenly pliable (for the last 30 years it was too hard to even dig a tiny hole to put seed or 4" starter plants in but this year I could turn the soil with a rubber spoon!).
I purchased 128 Van Zyverden bulbs of Oriental Stargazer Lillies, Rannuculus, Gladiolus (of two varieties), and Grand Freesia. All went into the ground GodSpeed thanks to the pliable soil on May 12th. Today is July 4th.
I've tended meticulously and only thing that had shoots are some of the Lilies. In my haste to have SOMETHING out there I purchased MANY 4" starter plants (which have done well, for the most part) and four each, Gardenias and Pink Azaleas. One each Gardenia and Azalea I placed in pots. While not yet blooming they appear healthy and happy while the four in ground look AWFUL, yellow and stunted. No bigger than the day they went in, May 10th.
The association refused to cut overgrown bushes which blocked the sun from my due west facing home until I raised heck last week. I'd suspected that was cause of flowers and shrubs failing to flourish or in the case of bulbs, even sprout. We've had a lot of rain, I now have adequate light (except for my roses...5 pots of them which will never get enough sun due to a tree that zelously "expanded" seemingly overnight due to the rain.
I blamed everything on the bushes or bad bulbs UNTIL a lightbulb went off in my head this morning.
I'm no gardener, only learning BUT I have basic reasoning skills about such and I'm wondering IF the mulch atop the soil is the culprit. I do not know what the composition of the mulch is. I just know there's LOTS of it.
The association board president, who is an avid gardener (individual owns a whole block of condos here and had entire perimeter of their homes very heavily mulched, paved with beautiful stepping stones, and, of course, a PLETHORA of shrubs and flowers (yes...WE mere condo mortals paid for THEIRS getting nothing for ours but most everyone's renting here so no one but me cares). I bring this up because I noticed ABP got about 100 or so pots of varying perennials delivered and left them (in pots) sitting ATOP the mulch mounds for weeks and THEN put them into the ground.
Am I on the right track? The mulch is the culprit as perhaps sun didn't reach my bulbs? What can I do? Purchase a rake and pull the much off?
I've spent just about $800 on everything out there. Actually, it's more but I'm too embarrassed to admit what I've gone into debt for in an attempt at making my home nice so it will be esthecally pleasing both while I'm stick here and to potential buyers.
Please PLEASE assist me with your knowledge and experience!
And no...going to that ABP isn't an option. I've lived here for 30 years and know the political environment all too well.
Thank you SO MUCH!