GOOPs for January 2011

Pinus strobus' 'John's Find'

Pinus strobus' 'John's Find' helped me meet one of my garden goals in 2010

It’s the first day of the month which means it’s time to post another Gardening OOPs (GOOPs) that we all make but usually are reluctant to share.  The inspiration for GOOPs comes from Joene Hendry, fellow

garden coach and CT-based garden blogger.  If you haven’t visited Joene’s blog, joenesgarden, yet you’re in for a treat.  It’s filled with interesting posts and breathtaking photos (like today’s photo of a sunrise).

This month, Joene decided to recap her top 5 GOOPs from 2010 which got me thinking about all the GOOPs I’d confessed to over the past year.  At this time last year, I wrote about my GOOPs of omission, things in my garden that were bothering me and that I planned to address in 2010.  So for this month’s GOOPs, I thought it would be interesting (amusing, fun & humbling) to look at my goals again and see how I’d measured up.

Plant more spring-flowering bulbs:  I planted about 100 crocus bulbs in a new bed we created but other than that I didn’t add as many bulbs as I had planned to.  I think my problem with spring-flowering bulbs is that by the time it’s appropriate to plant them here in Stamford, I’m a little sick of gardening.

Add more vines:  I completely failed at meeting this goal.  I did have the best intentions though.   I ‘planted’  a weathered and rusted 6′ metal pipe with copper piping encircling it in one of my beds with the intent to plant a few annuals vines to grow up the piping.  But I never got around to planting the vines.  Maybe this year!


♦ Plant shrubs with berries:   I did plant three Viburnum dentatum ‘Blue Muffin’ shrubs in my newly created garden bed.  And I added one more highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) to keep my other one company and aid in pollination and berry production.  But I’d still like to add the chokeberry shrubs I was considering last year. 

Shrink the size of my lawn:  This goal I definitely met.  Unfortunately it all started because we had to take down an ironwood tree that was dying.  But we created a new bed for native shrubs and perennials and reduced the size of our lawn by about 750 ft².  In addition to the blue muffin viburnums, we planted several Clethra alnifolia, Acorus and Tiarella.  In the spring, we’ll add several Prunus laurocerasus ‘Schipkaensis’ for screening. 

Plant more conifers:  I actively worked on achieving this goal but I have to admit I was surprised by how many conifers I bought/acquired in 2010.   Most are dwarf but a few will grow into substantial evergreens.  I brought home two 4′ Chamaecyparis from different jobs this year that were headed for the trash.  One is an unknown C. lawsonia cultivar and the other an unknown C. pisifera cultivar.

And I bought the following conifers this year (some are still waiting for me to find a permanent home for them):  Chamaecyparis pisifera filifera ‘Aurea Nana’, Juniperus chinensis ‘Saybrook Gold’, Juniperus communis ‘Gold Cone’, Pinus strobus ‘John’s Find’, Thuja plicata ‘Whipcord’, and Thujopsisa dolobrata ‘Nana’.  Yes, I think I do have a conifer-fetish.

How’d you do with meeting your garden goals in 2010?

Happy 2011!

9 thoughts on “GOOPs for January 2011

  1. My garden goal for the past year was over-simple: get things to grow. And they did.

    I am at the stage with my gardens, which are all new, where the design and plant selection are good, but everything needs to fill in before I can figure out what to do next.

    I like your goals, especially shrinking the lawn (as I would like to do) and planting more conifers (need more here too.)

    Have a happy new year!

    • Laurrie, It can be frustrating waiting for things to grow in, especially in a large garden likes yours. I feel like I’m always moving shrubs/perennials around so they rarely have time to settle in and just grow. I guess that’s one of the down falls of shrinking my lawn.

  2. Thanks for again joining in on GOOPs day.

    I achieved the goal of re-doing my former vegetable garden – digging out the soil, lining the beds with hardware cloth, replacing the soil – into planting beds for strawberries (netted from deer), chives, horseradish, and garlic. This enabled me to remove welded wire deer fencing and open the area up more. This was my one big project for the year.

    Of course there are many more projects floating in my head but I’ll get to these as I’m able.

    In your research on Prunus laurocerasus ‘Schipkaensis’ did you find any deer resistance? These shrubs have good potential for a couple areas in my yard provided they don’t simply become deer fodder. The gold cone juniper is intriguing also – have you planted it yet and how is it doing?

    • Joene, Wow, that sounds like a huge project. Schip laurels are becoming quite popular here and from all accounts they are deer resistant. They also thrive in full shade and don’t mind moist soil so they seem very adaptable. They are starting to replace the ubiquitous boxwood for people who like the tight evergreen look but find boxwoods too formal.

  3. My ‘Gold Cone’ is spectacular in spring when the tips turn golden with Irish moss at its feet. Conifers are my most recent passion also. I guess my plan for the coming year is to keep on keeping on and make as few major boo boos as possible.

    • Ricki, I can imagine how brilliant your Gold Cone must be with the moss at its feet. I hope you’ll post a photo of it on your blog this spring. As for conifers, I think I need to plant all the ones I have before I buy anymore. unless I happen upon a blue spruce for a great price!

  4. “Plant more conifers.”

    That’s probably the best goal a gardener could have! It’s always on my list of things to do.

    I’m thinking Lavender makes a great companion for conifers, so I’m beginning to increase my interest in and planting of different types of lavender. I find that its natural scent blends well with the aroma of my conifers on a hot summer day.


    • Ed, I think you might be a bit biased about conifers:) I have trouble growing lavendars in my garden but I agree they would make a great companion for many conifers. I hope you’ll post some photos of your lavendar & conifers so I can see how they combine.

  5. Me? Biased? Well, maybe just a little. I’ve just started to explore the world of lavendar, so it may be a while before I have anything worth photographing, but I’m likely to give a report on the blog at some point. :^)

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