Following the “25 random things about me” craze, here is a list of 25 random things about gardens; yours, mine and theirs.
1. I garden on 1/7th of an acre, but it ain’t the size that matters.
2. I hate orange mulch.
3. I believe that a weed is a flower in the wrong spot, except when it is grass, then it is just a weed.
4. I believe you should do a cost-benefit analysis before growing vegetables: Tomatoes- yes. Corn-No. (unless you are a farmer).
5. The most common thing I hear from people who don’t like to garden is “But I don’t know which are weeds and which are plants!” I think that if you know what grass and dandelions look like and only pull those, you’ll get most of the weeds anyway. Otherwise just either wait for it to bloom and if you don’t like it, yank it out; or pull it and take your chances. What you don’t know won’t hurt you.
6. I think red bedding salvias and dusty miller should be a banned combination in municipal bedding.
7. I think that biodiversity is the answer to many insect infestation problems.
8. Likewise, biodiversity helps minimize when the rabbits eat all the phlox.
9. Use chemicals thoughtfully.
10. Large lush lawns are unremarkable and expensive. Large flower beds are very remarkable and about the same price over the long run.
11. Don’t buy the hype on “in” flowers and “out” flowers. Plant what works well for you and that you like.
12. Spirea is out. 🙂
13. If shrubbery or a tree get too large too close to the house, they should be pruned if possible or removed- no point to being sentimental.
14. If you see a plant that you don’t like in your garden, as Dan Hinckley says, move it right away– you can’t wait 6 months in the hope that you will remember to move it at some future date.
15. Every now and then, plant things that aren’t supposed to grow in your region, you never know.
16. In the spring: if it looks dead, give it a week or two.
17. Don’t prune tree peonies.
18. Do prune your trees in late winter.
19. Visit your local botanical garden for ideas and escapism and commiseration. (“Look! They have Japanese Beetles here too!”)
20. Acknowledge the ultimate size of a plant before you plant it.
21. If it physically hurts to do something in the garden, and you are otherwise able bodied, you are using the wrong tool or method.
22. You pay more attention to thistles if you garden barefoot.
23. Bring your houseplants (except African Violets) outside between Memorial and Labor Day. They love it.
24. Put your houseplant watering reminder on Outlook so you don’t forget- you can always “ignore” if you’ve been diligent and they don’t need it.
25. Don’t worry, have fun! Best case scenario, your neighbors love walking past your house. Worst case scenario: you get a little exercise and you revive the economy a bit when you replace all the plants that you have killed.