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Quote of the Day: Joy Larkcom

June 18th, 2017

“There will be disappointments (when gardening). The glorious visions that are conjured up when sowing or planting don’t always materialize and the painful memories of failures lurk in my written records: ‘chamomile path engulfed by chickweed; cat scratched up lettuce seedlings; first cabbage lost to pigeons; drought causing slow pumpkin growth; ‘Treviso’ chicory disappeared. There are bound to be highs and lows: no garden can be beautiful all the time.”

Joy Larkcom in Creative Vegetable Gardening

For two years I have had a vision of what I wanted to create in the garden area below the living room windows. A mass planting of ‘Walkers Low’ catmint with lovely purple allium globes towering above it. I had seen a photo at one time of this and found it stunning.


Clearly my alliums are not towering above the catmint, in fact one is being smothered by it. The flowers are also the same color, which wasn’t the plan either. Perhaps the photo I saw used a lower catmint, the version that grows only a foot tall or so. Or perhaps the alliums grew to their normal height. My ‘Globemaster’ alliums are definitely not as tall as others I have seen, in fast they’re a full 8-12 inches shorter than the others I have seen. All-in-all, this ended up being a gardening disappointment.

The one on the edge is pretty tall, this is more what I was going for, but the other two aren’t even close to being tall enough. The one closer in is being swallowed up by the catmint (as you can see in the first photo of the post). In my opinion this is a waste of alliums. Alliums should be showstoppers in the garden, they’re so graphic and bold.

I’m certainly glad I didn’t buy a lot of alliums, I purchased only 3 bulbs to give it a try first. I may try a different type of allium in, one that has smaller flowers and one that is a different color of purple. These alliums won’t be lost, I love them, just not here. The bulbs will be fed, dug up, and then moved to a new spot in the garden where they can shine and be the showstopper they should be.

What gardening fails have you had this year? 

3 Comments to “Quote of the Day: Joy Larkcom”
  1. angie hull on June 18, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Well, I think it looks amazing! But i can understand when you envision and plan and it doesnt work out the way you intended! Does the catmint bloom all summer?

    Reply to angie hull's comment

  2. Nebraska Dave on June 18, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Susy, my garden always looks better in my mind than when it becomes a reality. So far this year all has staid relatively good with much weeding going on. It’s been a five year journey with much fence building to get to a point where wild life is some what under control. Fences are much easier built to keep animals in then out. I haven’t put the electric fence in place yet but it needs to be active real soon. The sweet corn attracts every raccoon for miles around. My neighbor at the garden discovered that raccoons don’t seem to be attracted to popcorn so that’s what he plants.

    I too think your flowers look amazing but then as you know I’m not a flower gardener.

    Have a great Joy Larkcom day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

    • Susy on June 18, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      Oh the sweet corn, such a delicious treat for animals of all kinds.

      Reply to Susy's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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