Sunday, July 9, 2017

Haphazard Gardening

I’ve been meaning to write, but as usual, I’ve been incredibly busy. How is it possible to get busier? And now that I’m writing, I have a lot to say. I thought I went overboard last year when I got into gardening. I thought that a smaller property would be easier to design and maintain. Perhaps that would be true for a professional landscaper. However, I’m not a professional and I do things my way. 

These daisies attract bees.
Yes, I overspent on flowers last year. A smaller yard doesn’t necessarily mean small gardens. I created new gardens besides those already here, and this year I’ve gone even further (in money, the size of gardens, and the amount of new plants). Still, it’s not exactly where I want it to be … nor do I know exactly where I want it to go.

So, where am I going wrong? No, it’s not that I’m going wrong (well, maybe that depends on who you talk to, ha ha), it’s that I’m jumping in without a prepared plan. Wow, I haven’t actually admitted that before. That’s exactly what I do, though. I stop at the nursery, fall in love with too many plants, and purchase more than I can handle at one time. I get them home and I ask myself, “Now what do I do?”  

I created a lily bed just for hybrid day lilies
But, flowers make me happy. I love the colors, shapes, textures, patterns. The way one plant might grow different from another is fascinating. Why does this plant not do as well and one right beside looks great? I can’t help myself. Maybe I’m making up for all those years I wasn’t interested in gardening. 

It’s not easy. I face challenges every day when out in the yard. It takes three to four days to get the new purchases planted. Sometimes where I thought I’d put a plant isn’t where it ends up. Sometimes where I put it means I have to extend the garden which means more edging and when there are a lot of roots the digging is extremely difficult. Then there are times when a new plant doesn’t like where I put it and I’ll have to find a new spot. 

Hens and Chicks - Red Beauty
There are lists to make so I can add new pages to the garden reference manual I’m putting together of plants in my yard. I look up three or four websites to gather information on each plant and then work the information into one cohesive piece for the manual. I photograph the plants and if the plant isn’t flowering yet, I add a photo later.

The soil here is mostly sand, so that creates yet another issue. I want to keep it simple. I don’t want to deal with PH testing and amending the soil, although I do add potting soil. Then there are sun issues. The main part of the yard gets a lot of afternoon sun and even sun-loving plants are not happy with too much heat in the afternoon. (I’ve learned that if a plant tag says, “Sun/part shade,” I’m better off leaning towards part shade.) 

Last weekend I went on a garden tour in New London and Elkins and saw some amazing gardens. Then today, there was a posting on Facebook of 23 amazing gardens. Absolutely stunning, with professionally designed and manicured plants. At first, I thought, “How could I do this?” I realized these gardens are beautiful, but not me. I’m not perfectly manicured. I don’t follow the norm. I make my own way … even when it comes to gardening.

Other colorful elements bring other aspect to a garden. This
is a work in process re-purposing plant trays.
The light bulb lit up as it dawned on me that I’m a haphazard gardener. Sasha Wolfe, the haphazard gardener. That’s me. It’s how I work and create. I am spontaneous. I do things against the grain. I buy plants not knowing where to put them, then build a garden around them. I put some like colors together and others are mixed.

I’m learning all the time and I love to hear what others say. One of the ladies I met on the garden tour said her garden has been a 30-plus year love-affair and she changes it all the time. My gardens are coming along, but now that the heat of summer has arrived (and bugs), I’m less prone to want to be outside. I’m usually outside around 7 a.m. which has totally upset my normal morning routine (one thing I’ve always been in a rut about), but that’s another issue.