To Be Remedied Next Summer

In the fall when I look at my garden, and possibly when you look at yours, there are so many things that seem to need a remedy next summer.

next summer flower bed-crop

Photo: by Chris Wood

A well tended flower bed.

The Reverend Samuel Hole (1819-1904) wrote, “Did you ever meet a gardener who, however fair his ground, was absolutely content and pleased?….Is there not always some grand mistake to be remedied next summer?

In the fall when I look at my garden, and possibly when you look at yours, there are so many things that seem to need a remedy next summer. For example, I really am going to be ruthless about the volunteer plants that spring up in all of my flower beds. This year I had so much monarda that it engulfed everything else and actually smothered some much more desirable but milder mannered and well bred plants. It is so important to be vigilant about enthusiastic spreaders.

I also need to be much more careful about where I place certain types of plants. Bouts of dry weather this summer have made me more aware of sites such as slopes, beds where plants compete with thirsty tree roots, and those adjacent to hot concrete. Plants that need consistent moisture need to be sited in partial shade away from competitive roots, slopes and concrete that reflects heat. Drought-resistant succulents and grey-leaved plants are best suited to grow in consistently dry soil.

I must also try to do better about weeding out the grass that invades my beds.

I also vow to try to combine only plants with similar needs in my pots.

Next year I must try to remedy the things I forgot this summer…

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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