Monday, May 27, 2013

Making Adjustments

I tend to have grand visions of what each part of my garden will look like before I get started on a new project. Sometimes the visions are rather unrealistic, but now that I am becoming more of an optimist, I like to think that even though they may be difficult to attain, they still represent a useful goal. More often than not, though, I find that I do have to make slight alterations to my plans.

The bean tunnel is one such example. I realize now that I didn't fully think through the whole construction. While I did run twine horizontally at intervals of a foot, I neglected to consider the fact that the bean plants would be lolling about with nothing to cling to every 12 inches. In the absence of any good support, they've basically been hugging each other. It's been quite an ordeal this week separating them from what seems a rather passionate embrace. I spent some time today giving them something more productive to climb. Next bean season, though, I think I'll just attach hardware cloth to the PVC supports with zip ties. It will make the structure stronger, and it won't take so long to get it set up.

Vertical twine lines for the beans to climb
I will also have to make some adjustments in the secret garden. A couple of months ago, I sprinkled seeds into a bare spot. I thought that I had used cosmos seeds, but since I am appropriately referred to by Turfman as "The Absent-Minded Professor," I honestly couldn't remember. "No worries," I thought to myself. "As soon as they come up, I'll recognize them by their leaves." Well, up they started, and I was pretty sure they were, indeed, cosmos. But then the plants kept getting taller and taller, much bigger than any other cosmos plants I had ever grown, and so I began to doubt myself. After all, I had absolutely no recollection of what I had planted there. (Turfman suspects that when I successfully defended my dissertation and was congratulated by my doctoral committee, I must have happily walked out of the room and left my brain behind. He may be right. I can't remember.) Well, now the plants are ridiculously tall, completely inappropriate for the front of a flower bed. They're almost as tall as I am.

The gargantuan plant!
Luckily, one of them started blooming the other day, and I finally got full confirmation that they are, indeed, cosmos plants. But they'll have to be relocated.

The recently-revealed cosmos
And then there's Sneezy, the dahlia, whose shy little bud appeared on last week's post. He's quite lovely, but it seems he is, in fact, a dwarf. I should have guessed that by his name. So no one will really see him this year, as I put him in a space behind other things. At the end of his growing season, I'll lift the tuber and place him somewhere a little more suitable. For now, he's my special little secret to enjoy on my own.

Hello, Sneezy!
So, sometimes things just don't go according to plan. In the garden, I'm learning that even if things don't turn out exactly as I envisioned, they can be fixed later and enjoyed for what they offer in the present moment. Isn't that the way we should view all things in life?

Before we part company for the week, though, I need your assistance on one more adjustment that needs to be made. The path through the vegetable garden is not what I had imagined. It's barren. I wanted creeping thyme running through all of the little cracks. I can't seem to get that to grow there, though. If you have any suggestions for what might work in a zone 9b garden that gets full, brutal Florida summer sun, please do point me in the right direction!


  1. Is there no Florida version of Walter Reeves? ;-)

    1. I've heard of someone referred to as The Garden Rebel, but I'm not sure there's many people like Walter Reeves! (I won a signed book of his in a plant identification contest he held last year!)