Knock-out roses were a good introduction to roses, for me. Mostly because I could completely ignore them after they had been planted. They remind me of the roses that grew near the beach when I lived on the end of Long Island. Simple. Hardy. In sweet shades. Maybe someday I'll work myself up to the more exquisite varieties. But probably not in this decade.
Daylilies are awesome slope stabilizers. I have officially become a daylily kook. The more varieties, the groovier. The deer showed no interest in these, either.
Black plastic mulch. For the areas of the raised bed garden that ran amok while Willa was wee. We tucked three out of the five beds under this mulch for future gardening endeavors. In the meantime, I didn't have to weed them for an entire season. We will put compost and shredded leaves under this same mulch over the winter - so the compost will cook and break down (making the beds ready for planting in spring 2010).
Strawberries in a big container. Okay, so we didn't have tons of berries, but had enough for Willa to pluck and enjoy. I did battle with a strawberry patch one season several years ago. Never again.
Shrubs are a garden's best friends. With our front area ready to be planted this past spring - I learned the value of the shrub in a vast landscape. I planted a Virginia sweespire, two glossy abelias and one hydrangea. I hope to add many more in upcoming years. They make a nice statement, quickly.
These, Not So Much
Respect the power of the black walnut. The roots of the black walnut tree produce juglone - and it is toxic to lots of plants. I learned this the hard way when adding to our new garden bed under our walnut. I'm looking into planting a black walnut permaculture guild in spring 2010 with tomatoes, elderberries and currants to foil it's deadly, wilt-inducing juglone. A guild is when plants work together instead of against each other. It's all about the love in the garden.
My nursery-bought shiitake log. The spring yielded one mushroom that smelled like feet. The fall yielded one mushroom that was sublime. Hence, that sublime mushroom was a $30 mushroom. I'm thinking of just making my own mushroom logs - after lots of tips from friends.
Geometric bulb planting. Ugh! So bummed about this and have no idea what I was thinking when I planted my tulips in an orderly fashion in a new bed. Learn from me - plant in clumps and drifts. Clumps and drifts, dear readers!
The new-ish nasturtium varieties in pink. They just didn't thrive like the orange variety - which I ended up falling in love with over the season anyway. Plus, the orange varieties remind me about a sweet part of the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.