7 Things I Wish I’d Done in My Garden This Year

Gardens are always a work in progress, in my case one that always involves rocks.


1. Grown more flowering annuals from seed, like zinnias and tithonia, (Mexican Sunflowers), and actual sunflowers. One of my favourite things about gardening is being able to make bouquets for the house, and my cutting garden wasn’t up to snuff this year.

2. Started nasturtium and morning glory from seed in pots where they are going to grow, instead of transplanting from cell packs. I bought morning glory plants this spring, and only got my first bloom yesterday (Sept 3rd). Starting from seed where they are to grow may be more successful.

3. Wish I’d not planted cosmos in my vegetable plot as part of my cutting garden. The soil is way too rich for cosmos, giving me only lush leaves all season, with a few flowers just starting to bloom in the last week or so. Same goes for calendula, just leaves so far.

4. Planted my peas earlier in the season. My peas did ok, considering how late I got them in, but I had only a few handfuls of peas and they fried in the heat. Same goes for sweet peas. I didn’t have a single sweet pea for a bouquet this year.

5. Spent more on soil improvement and mulch, and less on plants. At the garden centre, plants are so seductive, bags of manure and mulch are so ho-hum – plus heavy! But I’ve gotta go more for the ho-hum, because the payoff is better in time than adding one more pretty plant.

6. Made actual decisions about what I’m going to grow in the vegetable garden. This year’s keywords were “last minute” and “willy nilly”. Next year I’ll only grow tomatoes and vegetables that I know I’m going to love, instead of grabbing plants here and there at the last minute.

7. Thought more about design and structure in my gardens.  I need a master plan for my garden, especially my country garden. Next year I want to start it.


  1. Planning and soil prep – like eating your vegetables, so important and so hard to make time for! In my own garden I'm realizing that I've left pruning the shrubs way too long – really should make a schedule so as not to be faced with overgrown masses at the end of the season…

  2. Good post. My only comment on planting Morning Glory is I started them three times fro seed this year. First they did not want live in the garden when planted, then, when they took, they kept growing, and growing and growing. But no flowers on 6 plants. They are over 20 feet tall and no flowers. This drama never happened in all the years of seed starting. Weird year for vines.

  3. I planted my sweet peas late as well. They are just now beginning to flower and it's been raining so hard they don't smell very good (they don't smell at all, really). Rather disappointing, but we'll do better next year, won't we? I consider sweet peas indispensable.

    Christine in Alaska

  4. I don't grow veggies, but I wish I had planted more annuals, spent more on soil improvement and REALLY put effort into planning and design. I get seduced by plants and end up plunking them here and there. gail

  5. That sounds like a very learning-constructive and future-useful list.

    About soil improvement; I'm surprised how long it took me to learn that when a plant is said to 'like poor soil' it doesn't often mean it can thrive in soil completely void of nutrition or texture.


  6. I am so in sync with every comment here! I love your comment about soil prep, Cyndy. Like eating your vegetables. That's a keeper!

    And Mary S., yes seed packages are there to seduce and sometimes…mislead us. Beware, beware!

    It IS a weird year for vines, gardenwalk! I got one flower on my morning glory a few days ago. There is a Heavenly Blue in my neighbourhood (in an alley) though that must have been planted very early and it's been blooming like crazy.The stem is thick and woody like a tree.

    Jim, I could have kept going and going and going like the Energizer Bunny with other things I did wrong, but these are the top 7! When are you going to get on Twitter by the way??

    Christine, I planted sweet peas and then let them dry out and never planted them into a bigger pot. I was a big Neglecter this year. I too consider them INDISPENSABLE.
    Gail, getting seduced by plants and plunking them here and there is my middle name!

    Esther, yes, I guess there is a difference between poor soil and desert soil. Why are plants so fussy???

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