My Biggest Garden Mistakes!
Gardeners World|August 2019
My Biggest Garden Mistakes!

They say experience is the best teacher, so who better than Carol Klein to share her biggest garden blunders.

Carol Klein

The longer you garden, the more mistakes you make. Of course you could argue that although that ’s true, it ’s equally true that the more you garden, the more things you’re likely to get right After all, your experience increases with each new gardening year and most of us learn from our mistakes.

I’ve lived at Glebe Cottage for 41 years and I’ve been learning to garden step-by-step all that time. I was mad about plants long before that, but it was only when we moved to Devon that we had our own garden and had the opportunity to grow them. And it’s only when you grow a plant, and particularly when you propagate it yourself,that you gain an intimate insight into that plant – how it grows and any particular foibles or quirks it may have.

When we arrived at Glebe Cottage, we didn’t have the money to buy loads of plants, and with almost an acre of garden (although it was hardly that when we moved in), we were going to need plenty. A greenhouse was a necessity – much more important than the new windows we were supposed to fit. Sadly, our greenhouse only lasted 30 or so years, but oh boy did it grow a lorra lorra plants before it finally gave up the ghost.

Seeds of sorrow

Growing from seed has to be the easiest way to grow lots of plants quickly. Much of my seed sowing has been reasonably successful, but there have been many exceptions. If you get a thousand seeds in a packet, it’s tempting to envisage a thousand plants all grow ing away beautifully. What you don’t think about is the time, patience, pots and compost between seed and final result.

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August 2019