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Ever looked through other people’s Facebook feeds and thought how their lives must be way better than yours? I reckon it’s something most of us feel from time to time.

Laptop in the garden

But of course, for every immaculate beach sunset there were dozens of grey rainy days – it’s just that online, everyone tends to present edited highlights rather than a warts-and-all account of what’s going on. And this blog is no exception. So when a gardening journalist friend of mine asked me to tell her what I’d be doing differently in 2016, it got me thinking. (If you want to see this in print, turn to p50 of this week’s Garden News).

For the record, here are my 5 gardening fails of 2015 – and the lessons I’ve learned from them:

  • Empty greenhouse: plan ahead a bit more for a more regular supply of salad leaves – if I’d sown hardy winter salads in modules in September could’ve planted them straight into the greenhouse beds/growbags as soon as I got rid of the tomatoes and I’d be feasting on healthy baby leaves by now!
  • Cartouche-Tulips

    Sparse vase: I grew tulip ‘Cartouche’  last year – they were gorgeous but I only had enough for one decent vase. So I’m planting lots more bulbs for cutting on the allotment.

  • Maggotty apples: my trees got clobbered by codling moth, so I’m going to try and remember to put grease bands and pheromone traps up in good time.
  • Overcrowded fruit bushes: my redcurrants and whitecurrants established really well and now they are totally jammed together – it’s sometimes difficult to remember when you plant a bare-root bundle of twigs or a plant in a small pot that actually it will grow into a nice big bush up to about four feet wide! So always pay attention to recommended spacings.
  • Weed nirvana: a seasonal one here (forgive the awful pun) – hoe hoe hoe! I neglected hoeing the allotment in August and September when I was busy moving house – now I’m paying the price with loads of weeds I need to pull out by hand.

GinHere’s hoping my gardening confessions are useful. I’m off to raid the freezer for some of the things that worked OK (raspberries) to make some home-made Christmas presents – little bottles of raspberry gin – cheers!


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