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Ten worst gardening mistakes

Saturday, May 11, 2002
Guide to Gardening
bulletGround rules
bulletThe sweaty secrets behind Britain's gardening fetish
bulletWhat you want
bulletThe tools
bulletRemembrance of seeds past bulletTen worst gardening mistakes
  1. Working against reality. Don't plant a sunny garden if all you've got is shade.
  2. Putting in something of everything you see at the nursery. Make a list and cut in half, then try half this year, half the next.
  3. Too many bits and pieces of hardscaping. Either get a complete design, or start small and simple: one big rock is better than a bunch of little ones.
  4. Putting décor ahead of the garden. Keep the tschotchkes to a minimum the first year. Don't start collecting gnomes until you've decided what your true style is.
  5. Refusing to take plant size seriously. If you crowd plants in too close together, they won't get a chance to perform. Annuals are better for filling up spaces.
  6. Sticking a blue spruce outside the front door (they grow to about 100 feet). Scale is everything in gardening.
  7. Jamming in a bunch of little sticks of cedar and expecting a full hedge to grow in a few years.
  8. Making the pond too small. Calculate the size of the pond you'd like and then double it.
  9. Blocking access for maintenance. Even if it's just a few stepping stones, make sure you can get through the garden with hoses and machinery.
  10. Failing to look around. Whether it's a monstrosity that needs screening out, or a view good enough to be borrowed, integrate your garden with the neighbourhood.

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