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Have you ever 'Given Up' on a garden bed?

A couple years ago I made a semi-round garden under the sycamore tree in the front yard. It was sort of a continuation of the strip of shade garden under the overhang of the house. I was SO excited to have more space for shade plants! Unfortunately, I didn't work out like I had hoped. The area has poor soil that drains very fast (even with tons of soil amendments), and dries out like crazy. Sometimes the spot has to be watered twice daily in the heat of summer! Things are surviving, but not all are thriving. Only the Epimedium, Brunnera, a couple of Coralbells, and those amazing Japanese ferns are doing and looking good under those conditions. Hostas are another doing okay I guess. Now I suppose that doesn't sound like such a bad spot if all of those plants are prospering, but it has not turned out at all like I envisioned!

The year I made the bed (a crummy year weather wise- early thaws and very prolonged damp n' cool spring) the tree contracted anthracnose pretty severely and hasn't gotten better since. I'm not sure what is going to happen with it in the future. If I had thought out the bed before making it I would have realized that it would have been better to leave the space underneath the tree clear for when it needed pruning. Now who knows. If it ends up dying there won't be any shade there whatsoever. So, I think this spring I will dismantle most of this bed and let the grass/clover/violets creep back under it. Then I can wait awhile and see what happens with the tree. Thankfully I didn't go hog wild and fill every space of the front bed with plants! At least I won't have so much to relocate. I will probably end up taking out the onions and garlic from that plot by alley garden. The alliums never did very well there anyway since it is in shad for a good potion of the day.

Normally I would feel bad for giving up on a bed and hate to admit when something just didn't work out. But this time I don't for some reason. Maybe it is because I am getting fed up with all the watering required to keep everything perky under there. Or maybe it is doing that and STILL not getting the lush bed I was hoping for that makes me less upset with dumping it.

This got me to thinking, has anyone else here "given up" on a bed? Do you tend to live with it for awhile until you are fed up with it, or scrap it as soon as you know it isn't working out? And do you feel bad for it, or consider it a learning experience or simply part of the evolution of a garden?

Is there any other major thing you have given up on in or for the garden? Perhaps you had a project that ended up being too big or not what you wanted that you scrapped or redid? Have you ever had a particular theme going in the garden that you ended up not being pleased with/not having success with that you ditched?


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