Gardening errors.....

I've just completely decked my Kerria Japonica to the ground as it was looking a right mess.  Ive now got quite a substantial gap in the border.  Now I'm wondering if I've done the right thing.  Only time will tell, no doubt!  I did read that they are pretty rugged and probably a bit thuggish so I don't think I've killed it! 


Anybody got any of their own stories of gardening disasters they wish to share and whether it came out alright in the end, or it was a complete disaster!




  • lindsay2610lindsay2610 Posts: 101

    In my very early gardening days, I pruned a standard fuschia to the ground. Safe to say, it didn't turn out okay image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,029

    I'm more likely to nurture something that is rubbish

  • JazJaz Posts: 3

    Planting Chamerion angustifolium 'Album'/ White Willow Herb in a border after reading that is was 'gently invasive'.  Don't believe a word of it, within a year its roots had spread out to at least a meter all round the original plant and I am still digging bits out now after removing the original plant!!!

    You +1'd this publicly. Undo
  • reiverreiver Posts: 32


    Iam very new to this gardening and Greenhouse mallarkey. At the moment I have more disasters than successes. Bought lots, planted lots, drowned mostimage , over crowded others chilled the rest.

    Can't understand why I enjoy it so much!! Had to replant so many seeds I over did it- now have  several acres of Sage in full growth (OK 2 dozen little pots- still over kill)

  • Herby LouHerby Lou Posts: 9

    Hi reiver, I'm in the same boat as you. I've just started about a month ago. So I'm learning. But I have found my lavender, sage, strawberries, rosemary, mint, lobelia, clematis, carnations, are doing ok. But I had 2 basil plants and the slugs had a huge feats and now they're working their way through the other herbs in my mini herb garden. I think we both have a lot to learn. But I really think strawberry plants are so rewarding for us beginners. I'm very excited to see fruit forming and runners.

  • reiverreiver Posts: 32

    Hi Herby Lou

    Yes early SBerries doing fine-They have to Gdaughter will skin me otherwise- Outdoor Basil is a No-No up here. The last planting is OK so I will have some for the GH. Rosemary cuttings OK but slow compared to neighbours(From MY plantsimage) Mint and Sage ok Lemon Balm a great success. Lavender just decided to cooperate. Parsley is fine. I need to go buy some pinks to use as donors for cuttings. Don't grow Clematis but "Darcy Bushell" roses are budding up nicely.

    As you say, lots to learn. I gave my neighbour a cucumber at 6 inches. She left it in her conservatory whilst sorting out what to do with her garden. It is now 18" high and glowing with health. My wizened little offering is an embarrassment.

    Tomorrow a dawn raid on the weeds, then off to buy MORE pots. I feel the need for a leisurely lunch with  a bottle of Pinot Grigio. I find my garden looks better after that.image

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    Easy plants that won't let beginners down (if they can help it)

    • Geraniums of any kind but not Pelegoniums.
    • Ferns, so long as you don't bake them in the sun
    • Bulbs, ready-made flowers looking for a hole.
    • most herbs don't mind being baked dry in the sun
    • Some herbs like moisture, mostly those that have soft, large and/or fleshy leaves. Never let mint get out of the pot!
    • Trees of any kind will really try hard for you,just check their mature size for your garden and remember that the leaves you can see on top is the size of the roots underground
    • Wild flower meadow planting is a win win. Just cut it all down at the very end of summer.
    • Sedems are mostly quick off the spring starting blocks, grow rapidly up or outwards and will even root from damaged pieces.
    • All plants want to grow and look their best. Failure happens to us all for one reason or another. Don't be sad, learn what not to do next time image
  • KEFKEF Posts: 8,915

    Read that if you kept a Eucalypus tree well pruned it would retain small silver leaves. Stated that it would re-grow even from the base. Mine died after severe pruning.image

  • reiverreiver Posts: 32


    1st I love your forum name.

    2nd thanks for the advice. I had geraniums in a couple of large tubs- very seccessful but not really to my taste, so they are out. I have several pelegoniums coming along slowly and Regal that has donated several cuttings.

    The Galliardi and Tulips planted in pots late last year were a great success as was the apple tree planted last month.

    The little rockery has been the best part of the garden. I bought in sedums and saxifrage and other alpines and they have settled in and made themselves at home. I am so impressed that come winter/spring I intend to plant up lots of individual pots as an alpine display outside the gh.

    Apart from developing my gardening skills I really need to develop patience. It's the frustration of not really knowing what I am doing that annoys.

     Still- I am reminded that the man who never made a mistake never made a damn thing.

    PS I planted several ferns in the border. They seem to be manageing but the Maidenhair gave up the ghost. Could I grow this in the GH under the staging( No direct sun until late evening)?

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    Maidenhair ferns are more tollerate of sunlight. There is always an exception to the rule and I forgot this one in my easy gardening bullet points.

    Glad you are growing Saxifrage and alpines, I especially love alpine phlox and have several very sprawling plants from one plant in just a couple of years! But I didn't include them because most alpines don't like being soggy in the winter, so you must have great natural drainage in your soil image


    Oh I just remembered, you can't go wrong in dry shade with any Dryopteris fern..I love that the clue is in the name image

  • reiverreiver Posts: 32

    Thanks again- I'll persevere and find something that likes me.

    The little rockery was built on top of weed membrane. I planted through that and added "LOTS" of gravel. The alpine strawberries are delighting my Gdaughter and she checks them out each time she visits.

    I actually enjoy the uncertainty of the end result- will it/won't it? It reminds me of processing my own photographs- the delight and slight awe as the plain paper slowly started to show a picture. The time scales are longer but the excitement is the same. Mind you the fellow gardners on here are friendlier tah any photographer I ever met. Thanks again for your support.

  • Daft thing that I did, many many years ago. Read an article in a magazine which said that milk was good for houseplants.  Went round all of them being very generous.....

    A couple of days later when I came downstairs - what a smell!!!!  What an idiot!!!

    On the other hand - who wrote the article???

  • Herby LouHerby Lou Posts: 9

    Hi again reiver, sounds like you're having fun. And to me that's the whole point, right??? And wintersong thanks for your advice. Although I still can't tell what's what yet. I am trying to create a sensory garden for my boys (my eldest is disabled and blind) hence the herbs and fruit. I do have a few flowers spread amongst my lavenders. Lobelia, petunias, margerhite. The margerhite is blooming lovely. I cut all flowers off the lavender to help establish the roots. And the lobelia is doing better than I expected. 

  • Herby LouHerby Lou Posts: 9

    I should also mention I live on a chalk hill with alkaline, stony soil. I have a south facing garden and it really is a sun trap. I have a patio area with lots of things growing in pots (my experiments). One thing I would have to agree on though is the mint, maybe I should dig it up and replant as its twice the size now and I don't think it will stop there. And very disappointed with my basil. But hey ho. We live and learn. image

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    I live 14 miles from the south coast of England and I can't grow Basil with any kind of success image

    It hates me, I swear it

  • SingySingy Posts: 206

    I have a mint plant which needs to be dug, i planted it a couple of months back and its gone from the size of a 1 litre pot to about 12in high and wide.  I was thinking of digging it, moving it into two pots (one inside the other) then replanting it in the same spot.  Any one know if that would be ok?

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    Strange- the basil. I'm in central Scotland and have no problem growing it!

    Not outside I hasten to add - Italy it ain't ..image


  • daisymay3daisymay3 Posts: 8

    KEF Consider yourself 'lucky' my neighbour has one that is now a monster and is talking of having it taken out

  • reiverreiver Posts: 32

    Wintersong, et al -  I finally got Basil to germinate and survive. _ keep it damp. It does not like wet feet. The red variety is going well but the Sweet Basil . Lemon Basil and Thai Basil are all struggling and I have doubts as to their viability.

    My Cannas are coming along nicely. If they grow on I'll be well pleased. I bought(Sorry I think that's cheating) a "Prayer Plant". I hope that does well It's foliage and height will make a perfect foil for the Cannas and whatever blooms I manage to keep within the GH.

    Anyone know why I am having such difficulty in getting Gerbera to germinate.?

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