If you missed the article yesterday, I shared my personal favorite gardening disaster story, involving 26 muskmelons and a bunch of rascally raccoons. Read it at http://www.roanoke.com/columnists/hager/wb/312663.
Here’s another story of mine that comes from early in my gardening years, when I came across caterpillars devouring my parsley plants in my herb garden. I had made a butterfly garden in one part of my yard, and enjoyed it thoroughly, but like many new gardeners, had neglected to provide food for the caterpillars.
Spotting them on my parsley plants, I quickly reasoned that Kroger sells parsley, but not butterflies, so happily let them munch their way through my parsley. But, I thought, why not be proactive next year and give them food in the area I want them?
Great idea, bad execution.
I bought a packet of parsley seeds and broadcast seeds all over the bare spots of the butterfly garden, then patted myself on the back for taking care of the butterflies in all stages of their life.
What I didn’t realize is that the birds were going to eat up all that seed, which then came back to ground to plant itself, with the addition of fertilizer, if you get my drift. All over my back yard. And my front yard. And my side yard. And the neighbor’s yard…..Hundreds of parsley plants volunteering absolutely everywhere.
My first reaction was horror. My second was to remember that, although parsley is a biennial, it doesn’t overwinter in the part of Ohio that I lived in, so this was a very temporary problem.
I decided to accept the parsley, enjoy having enough for both the caterpillars and myself, and point out to my neighbors that they got an edible without doing any work. My neighbors were good sports and it didn’t hurt that the best view of the butterfly garden, and all the visiting butterflies, was actually from their property.
And, I learned that planting parsley in your butterfly garden is a good idea, but you should start plants indoors and put transplants in the garden, not broadcast an entire packet of seed.
So, what are your gardening disaster stories? I know you have them! Share them and I may use yours in a future gardening article.