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Failures in Gardening

I left it until now to talk about some of my more spectacular failures with berries and trees. We had a strawberry patch at one point, but the berries went wild, made few very small berries, then died out. We planted a raspberry bush, that grew for several years, never berried, and died of unknown causes. I even tried planting asparagus and rhubarb one year (I love perennials, remember). They died instantly. That didn’t work.

I’ve been trying for years to get a tree to grown in that spot in the front yard. One that’ll shade the living room in the summer and fall, but let the sun in for the winter and spring. I had an oak tree sprout up in the back yard next to one of the apple trees. I figured it must have come from an acorn buried by the squirrels that take just one bite out of every apple they can reach. I knew it wasn’t going to do well there so I tried to very carefully dig it up to replant in the front yard. I failed miserably. I must have broken the tap root, because it lasted a few months, then withered and died.

I’ve tried digging up the aspens that spring up spontaneously in inconvenient places in the back yard. The neighbors had a couple, and the roots go every where. We must mow down 25 or more of those a year. I don’t want any more in the back yard, but I figured if I could get one to grown right there in the front yard that would work. They all died. I tried three or four times. They just wilted and withered away.

Last fall, as I was walking the dog it occurred to me that the squirrels would be grabbing acorns from the neighborhood (there’s a bunch in the park nearby and several in various neighbors’ yards). The dog decided the acorns were the same size and general shape as his food, so he had to sample them, just in case they weren’t acorns fallen from the tree but dog food some kind person had scattered over the sidewalk just for him. As I watched him spit out the same acorn for the fifth time, I realized I could grab a bunch of acorns and plant them in that spot in my front yard. Maybe this time the oak tree could sprout right where I want it.

I haven’t seen a sprout yet, so it probably didn’t work. But it’s in a bare patch in the flower garden, so I’m not going to plant flowers there just yet. I’ll give it at least until July before I try something else.

I’ll keep you posted.

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