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  • Fabiana Touhey

Learning from your mistakes in the garden

I have been gardening for 23 years. I enjoy garden design, selecting flowers and plants, and planting them. It has not always been easy, however. Not being a trained landscape designer, I have made many mistakes, but I have learned from them all.

Twice I put invasive plants in my flower beds and they took over. One of them was Vinca Minor, a ground cover with pretty blue flowers and dark green leaves. The problem was that it did not give the other plants any space. I ended up digging all the Vinca out and replacing them with my all-time favorite perennial, geraniums.

The second mistake I made, which I have to deal with this spring, was to introduce Liriope Spicata into my garden. Liriope is a very attractive groundcover, grass-like with flowers that bloom during the summer. Unfortunately, I planted Liriope in several locations, including the flower bed in my front yard and, of course, the Liriope took over. Now there is very little space for other plants to grow and the flower bed is a mess. My plan is to dig all the Liriope out and replace them with native flowers.

Such is a gardener’s life! But the experience of gardening remains deeply rewarding to me—and an inspiration in my own work, whether in drawing, making repeats, or painting.