Passing by an elementary school back in the fall the coming events announcement board read: School photo retakes November 21st. I smiled as I thought back of my elementary days. We had no such thing as “retakes” And that is the fun of looking back at old school pictures for us baby boomers. Is our new generation missing out on the fun? The cats eyeglasses and over-permed hair held back with the headband sure gives rise to laughs out loud these days.
Driving in my truck that day in the final stages of the garden season, I began to think of the “retake” concept in gardening. It is good to know that in the gardening world, “retakes” are indeed possible. And the winter months are a wonderful time to consider such. You may think about the harvest of that vegetable garden, what performed and what did not. Did I plant too many of one kind in order to share the harvest before it spoiled. Or were my selections incompatible with our north country weather patterns (but they were guaranteed and looked bountiful in those catalogs) Did the vegetables have the right amount of sun and water in the spot I selected for my garden last year? what wildlife creatures feasted on my treasures, and what can I do this year to avoid that? Great time to rethink and plan relative to last years experiences.
Retakes in gardening are also great when considering next year’s bedding plant infusions and container gardening. I do ongoing assessments of performance throughout the growing season and plan my “retakes” accordingly. Did my annuals meet the conditions of the site? How did things such as light requirements, watering availability, show of color and continuous bloom match my expectations. How much time did I have to spend deadheading to keep the bloom going and plant robust. What kinds of pests did I encounter, both biological and insect? Was it worth it?
Perennial plantings offer a host of opportunities for “retakes” When their size overtakes their space, the divisions offer new life to other garden spaces. Recapture a friendship or invest in a community with sharing of your plant divisions. The sustainable nature of perennials often allows transplanting to an area better suited for general growth habits. So you can play with their location from year to year.
Garden retakes also allow us an opportunity to firmly deal with our mistakes: assess, plan and correct. These are great skills we can take into everyday living. Retakes in gardening, a great opportunity to learn and grow. Not always available in the real world in which we live.