Porch Chat: Confessions About My Gardening

It’s a lovely Friday evening here at May Dreams Gardens. Come sit on the bench on my porch for a minute or two, because I’ve got some confessing to do.

All set? Need a cold drink before we start? Here we go...

I confess that I have been just a tiny bit lax on some of my gardening chores this summer.

In particular, I confess I’ve been somewhat lackadaisical about mulching.

So how much mulching did I do? Well, I had three or four bags of hardwood mulch left over from when I quit mulching last fall, so earlier this spring, I dumped that mulch in a few key areas.

After that, I sort of, kind of, actually never had a good WOO (window of opportunity) for mulching. And when it got all dry in August, some of the plants suffered for lack of mulch.

So this fall, it’s time to mulch, mulch, mulch in a big way. Otherwise, some of the perennials will heave themselves out of the ground in protest when we have all that freezing and thawing over this winter. It won’t be a pretty sight.

I confess I also haven’t gotten around to harvesting very many grapes.

So how many grapes have I picked? Well, I picked two or three bunches the other day to take to a co-worker who had a hankering for some good ‘Concord’ grapes. He said he ate them seeds and all.

Not me! When I eat them, I spit the seeds out in a very lady-like fashion, of course, and only outside.

So this weekend, I’ve got to pick some grapes and make some jam. Otherwise, all those grapes will just “go to the birds”. But again, I need a pretty good WOO to get this done.

I confess I didn’t embrace weeding sometimes for weeks on end.

So how weedy did it get? It was embarrassing at times how many weeds I had growing. I think I’ve gotten caught up on most of the weeding, with just a few areas to attend to, like the back yard garden.

So before anyone goes around to the back garden, I need to get serious about weeding and make sure there are none of those great big weeds that like to announce to everyone, “the gardener around here is lazy and left us weeds to grow big like this”.

Instead, if there are just a few tiny weeds in the garden, you would hopefully only here a whisper of, “she’s a good weeder, so us little weeds have to stay tiny and quiet or she’ll find us and pull us”. Yes, that’s what you want your weeds to say.

I think that’s enough confessing for one session. I feel much better about all this now, having brought it out into the open. Now I best get up off the bench and start getting at some of this “gardening” around here and just be thankful that I didn’t have a SOGI, Someone of Garden Importance, come visit me while I was letting things go in the garden.

Oh wait, I just thought of one other confession! I confess I’ve done all the talking in our little porch chat. Forgive me! Do you have anything about your gardening to confess?


  1. Oh, Carol, I am so glad that you had your little confession time. It makes me feel so much more....normal, in the gardening department. I figure if Miss Carol if May Dreams Gardens slips up a bit, then it surely must be okay if I do.

    I got the mulching done pretty well, but oh my the weeding, lets just say that some folks might wonder if I am growing a perennial border or a wildflower, aka weed, garden, there are more queen anne's lace and goldenrod than perennials.

  2. I was just thinking about this the last few days: things I want do-over's on, 'cause I didn't get them quite right. Staking always gets ahead of me, when I know very well I need to get ahead of IT. You cannot stake something late in the game. That was my big, bad thing this year I think: didn't stake in time.

  3. It's nice to know I'm not the only gardener has my lackadaisical moments in the garden. I have to confess it's hard to stay motivated during the heat of summer.

  4. I confess that I am a water miser, and because of my limited watering (I was trying to toughen up my plants, really!) early in the summer, many of my plants did not thrive even when I gave them more water...

  5. I'll have to confess your 2008 mulch experience is a lot like mine a year ago, Carol. We had so much rain early in spring 2007 that it seemed like a good idea to wait until the ground dried out a little. Then when it got dry I never got around to doing it, starting out this year with a mulch deficit.

    Do you truly like grape jelly? Or are you making it from a sense of duty? Although I wouldn't mind spitting seeds sideways with you off the porch, when it comes to putting something on toast, I confess to wanting cherry preserves from France so I'd let the birds have the grapes!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. Carol,

    Thank you for inviting me to the porch for this visit, I have to confess...that I left my tools outside in the rain last night. Who knew it was going to rain; we are so used to dry weather that I left them in the wheel barrow. Then the wheel barrow filled up with rain water and the tools were swimming in the weeds that I didn't cart to the compost pile!

    I frequently forget my garden tools in the garden!


  7. I have to confess weakness this summer. A lot of neglect has occured in my garden. Fortunately, most of what I have are hardy and the Houston climate is forgiving... just enough rain with me just enough watering when there wasn't... and most things made it.

    I'm looking forward to cooler weather and perhaps, feeling better.

  8. It's those tempermental WOOs that get us. It was nearly impossible to weed in August because the ground was so hard. My confession is that I never got around to finishing stuffing all the cracks with compost. I ran out & didn't get another bag until today. I also haven't deadheaded all my Hostas yet. Those bare, brown sticks are so unattractive.

  9. The confession's fine and dandy but what's your penance?

    I'm afraid that my confessions would fill a book--although it all revolves around, "Failed to water sufficiently". I have the grim realization while looking out at the brown garden, "Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault."

  10. oh boy oh boy! I confess I have entertained husband's idea of pouring concrete over 50% of the lot we call home. I confess I wished one day the only plants I had were the half dozen 1/5 story arbs and the pom pom junipers (which was all that was here when we moved in). I confess I still have 23 plants in the side yard in their 4 inch pots.

    How's that? I feel better.

  11. It's late, and like MSS, my confessions would fill a book. All those that have been named and more: failure to water, failure to replace tools in a safe environment, failure to plant in a timely fashion, failure to stake, failure to prune ... and, yet, despite my failures, the garden grows! Nature is at once a cruel and a kind mistress.

  12. How much time do you have to listen to my confession??

    Carol, I love it when you admit to being a little lackadaisical about some gardening chores; it makes me feel like I'm not such a slouch. I confess to not mulching enough and not weeding enough--the vegetable garden is not fit to be seen by company!
    And now that Gail has owned up to it, I have been known to leave a tool or two out in the rain before, accidentally of course. Any recommendations for new pruners?

  13. I confess that my container plants are pretty pathetic from lack of watering.

    I didn't get around to mulching my new border and have been fighting weeds all summer. I think they are winning.

    I so enjoyed this fabulous cool day.

  14. Are you kidding. August was so hot and dry I didn't even look at the front garden. Weeds abound. Our 11 or so truck loads of mulch pretty much took care of the back garden. I do look at it more often so it isn't too bad but I would need to do a lot of work around here before I would be comfortable to have a Sogi come visit.

  15. I have to confess that I don't think I've touched a single weed since June, (now I can't find the garden because the weeds are so tall), and I haven't posted on any blogs for a good month. I've been neglectful, neglectful, neglectful :-(

  16. I confess that I neglected my cherry tomato plants for almost two weeks. (It was the last two weeks of summer before the kids went back to school.) When I finally got out there, I had lost tons (I mean tons) of tomatoes...delicious tomatoes...gone. Oh the shame! The guilt!

    But now that I have read everyone's confessions I feel so much better. Life happens and we get busy, tired and well....lazy. And that is okay! We should not feel guilty. We are only human. The garden should not make us feel guilty. That is not the point.
    Okay...I feel better now! Thanks.

  17. I don't want to confess anything. Nope, nyett, nada.

    Glad you got all of that off your chest. LOL.~~Dee

  18. Carol - if you could see my balcony at the moment ...
    If I dared confess I'd be doing penance from now till Christmas.
    Every time I go out there's another plant looking at me accusingly.

  19. I forgot to mention that I love your porch! With the ferns it looks so inviting. Too pretty for all of this negating talk.

  20. All this confession feels good, doesn't it? But who brought up penance? It was MSS! I'll have to think about that. Maybe my penance will be that I have to buy more plants this fall, and do some mulching and spend time in my garden? Yes, that's what it is going to be... gardening time!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  21. I confess not to confess because of too many confessions I'll have to confess. (I just confessed, I think.)

  22. That is a very friendly invitation to do some confessions too. Our aloes are very ungrateful towards weeding and mulching. Those teeth are very sharp and it is not possible to wear gloves. We have fine grass which makes a lot of fine roots. Pull it out and you lift a clump of dirt with it, leaving a hole which will need to be filled up with mulch. sigh..

  23. Confession is good for the soul, and we fellow gardeners understand.
    The only mulching I do is with cocoa bean mulch, and I am no big mulcher myself.
    I love that the birds get to enjoy your grapes. They enjoy the mulberries and lots of blackberries at my house.
    Sensational ferns in your photo.
    Thanks for the congrats on my Christmas book.

  24. I guess I would confess to being a little lazy, a little wimpy, a little prissy, a little unfocused, and a little indulgent of Ranunculus (my dog)--when it gets too hot, too buggy, too humid, too tiring, I come in. And Ranunculus is a delicate flower, unlike his namesake--he's a blonde, shorthaired dog and he's as sensitive to heat as he is devoted to us--he won't stay inside if we're outside. Anyway, so lots of things go undone. But here's what I want to know--what's your favorite mulch?

  25. I have to confess that I almost let some of my perennials drown due to not knowing they were sitting in a low spot in my backyard and with all the rain we've had it congregated right where they were planted.

    But yesterday my guilt got the best of me and I transplanted them elsewhere. Hopefully, they will recoup.

  26. I have alread confessed about my mess twice.

  27. I had to take you off the top of the ladder and put you down one rung. Where the rest of us are standing. Every year I just plain get tired of something. I can only be motivated so much. This year, it was pruning. My Knock Out roses look like beasties.

    I don't think our gardens look neglected though. At least we do something when most do nothing. I think our nothingness is still productive.


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