Monday, February 18, 2019

Revisiting the Types of Gardeners

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What Kind of Gardener Are You?

Has It All Together:
•Has a plan on paper
•Sticks to the plan
•Buys new, improved hybrids from reputable dealers
•Beds have neat edges
•Pulls out plants that fail to perform as expected
•Knows the botanical name of all plants, plus genus and family
•Looks elegant sitting under garden pergola sipping iced tea.

Trying to Keep It Together:
•Has a plan
•Easily distracted at garden centers, deviates from plan
•Plants seeds from someone's beautiful new hybrid which doesn't come true
•Has neat edges most of the time
•Some plants just die without warning
•Buys by color; if it fits the palette the name is not important, nor are the plant's needs
•Hopes visiting children will not trample flower beds during cookout.

Having Fun in the Garden: 
•Plan in the gardener's head; loses notes
•Plants where there's a space
•Grows mostly old, tried and true from seeds and divisions
•Bed edges expand to accomodate new plants, leaves newcomer weeds to make sure they aren't 'something.'
•Encourages plants that struggle but yanks out diseased
•Knows the common name, sometimes can remember the latin name
•Permanently stained right thumbnail, hopes white gloves for social occasions make a comeback.

Grandmother in the Garden:
•Have a plan, on paper; can't find it.
•Plan is flawed -- forgot actual bloom dates are not comparable to PNW and Zone 5 gardens where I lifted ideas.
•Forget to plant on time; hanging on to 3-year old seeds, just in case. Seeds do get mixed up, hence the pink poppies in the orange bed.
•Bed edges flex: more than 30 sq. ft. of grass to dig, well, you know.
•Frequent searches for articles showing latest color combos, hoping my more bizarre palettes will turn up as suddenly fashionable.
•Can usually identify every plant as familiar, forgot the name. I'll think of it tomorrow.
•Climbs on something tall or lies on stomach to get a better view with fewer weeds when making photos.
•Know in my heart that the finest gardens have 'off' seasons and that the humblest gardens sometimes harbor most beautiful blossoms.

SCGardener added a fifth Gardener:

Horticulturist with a garden:
•Remember what they say about cobbler's children and their shoes?
•Has a plan, can't read for all the erasures and revisions.
•Acquires plants in many licit and semi-licit means. Good nurseries, mail-order, flea markets, seed swaps, over the fence, plant sales, rustling. (I knew a guy who smuggled Mahonias from the UK in his dirty laundry socks.)
•The more unusual the better. Although common can be good too. Oh, heck, it's a plant. I'll find a home for it.
•Has a small (or not so small) nursery of plants in pots waiting to find homes.
•Knows the names, is mistakenly sure that they can remember all the cultivar names.
•Weeds? Pokeweed is kinda pretty don't you think? Did you know you can eat lambsquarters and purslane?
•Knows all the garden rules. Believes firmly that they can break them with sheer determination. Sometimes it works.
•Every single pair of jeans they own has permanent knee stains.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Purple Replaced Pretty in Pink


What was I thinking when I had that brief notion to put pink flowers in front of a yellow house?

Then I remembered my decades long recipe that worked so well in the country: Deepest Purple, Orange, Pale Yellow and Chartreuse. I'm still trying to think of the name of the designer whose personal garden sports these colors.

Deepest Purple and Friends, Fall 2014

When I get back to the country, all this will be different and I must give it even more care to self-survive. I thought I was just lazy when I gave up supplemental watering the past 2 years. It was to give the garden a chance for survival of the fittest. We shall see.

Some of the fittest may get to move to Florida. I'm auditioning on Pinterest, not necessarily the prettiest. Length of bloom is weighted against spectacular show.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima is a good candidate but  Tecoma stans is not welcomed in Florida Yards and Neighborhoods so Esperanza won't be its companion. I'll leave the blue bottle trees behind, too.

It's hard to decide on which daylilies make the cut. Certainly Salmon Sheen, only a few generations away from its ditch lily heritage but a Stout Medal winner from long ago. Maybe Brocaded Gown, an equally sturdy pale yellow.

I've never tried to dig one of the Jagus Crinums but I will try. I expect football sized bulbs. I tried to dig a 'Milk and Wine' Crinum that was held captive by a pine root, never did get it out.

Need to get a nursery of pots established soon and a short list of seeds to send to Janie V. Tonight I was looking at seed-grown plants in my blog and thinking, "Did I REALLY grow those from seed?" Planting seeds takes more faith than following Miss Billie's instruction to 'Stick this in the ground. It will grow' when she snapped off a limb and handed it to me.

I found the photos of the self-planted Laura Bush Petunias.

These were self-planted, windblown seed from a nearby bed. Here's my note from 2013:
This is not a maintenance-free bed. I've been pulling weeds and grass since I noticed an abundance of plants that were not weeds. When I walk by, I pull a few more. Weeds are pernicious and rarely give up. Squirrels planted pecans there that have to be grubbed out. Dogwood seedlings have sprouted. I figure such a pretty bed is worth a little work.

They were a chance planting and lasted that single season.  

I look forward to new plants and new joys.