Have you ever felt the best “don’t sweat the little things“? My mom said it so much, and she says it all the time, that it has become a guiding principle in our family. When it comes to gardening, I always have this saying in the back of my mind. For me, it means gardening should be fun and not too technical, which generally means that it takes a lot to get excited, until an unforgettable moment in the garden.
Mullein Plant Fiasco
This particular gardening mistake (of which I have had many) took a couple of years. It all started with my sister’s garden. It is an extraordinary gardener with a huge courtyard full of all the usual suspects and many surprises. One of his most unique plants was a huge six-foot specimen he called mullein. It had soft, velvety leaves and an imposing flower head of yellow blooms. “I want one.” I said.
Shortly thereafter he brought a small velvety rosette of a plant, a first year mullein. Mullein are biennial and do not bloom until the second year. So I found a place in the sun and threw mullein inside. I didn’t think about it until the following year, when I was scared of my own six-foot mullein plant. It may be nice but …
Fast forward another couple of years. I noticed that once some mullein plants had become a dozen or more … in one place and a dozen in another and so on. Obviously, I would have to cut the flower head before it went to sow because now what was once a really cold specimen was now irrevocably a weed, or rather weeds, plural. To be honest, it’s all a bit embarrassing and shows off my lack of knowledge and, ahem, laziness.
Throughout my life as a gardener, I have discovered that the smallest mistakes, such as not removing the spent flower head, can turn into an unforgettable event in the garden. However, I continue to consider gardening as a scientific experiment conducted by a lazy and mad scientist: moi.
I just got back to my mantra of “don’t sweat the little things“While I dug mullein after mullein after mullein, of course this will not be my last awkward garden moment.