Monday, July 18, 2016

Dear Newby

Dear Garden Newby,  

Put aside your gardening fears and dig, plant and enjoy!  Advice from an old garden dog to young pups:

Don’t be afraid of garden mistakes.  They will either disappear on their own or you will fight them every season.  Either way, you will learn important garden info.

One of my favorite garden flowers.
Let your own inner designer come forward.  Some of the most wonderful, beautiful or plain hysterical garden designs came from people not afraid to let their light shine.

Read garden books but don’t be afraid to put them aside and break every rule.  Every garden phase started with a new idea – some largely criticized, mocked and dismissed and later praised.

Understand the covenants and laws regarding landscaping your yard BEFORE you spend a lot of money.  Better yet before you buy the home.  You will lose the fight and it’s just not worth the time and effort if they stipulate against your plan. 

Don’t let another gardener, a professional landscaper or the general public decide what you like.  Evaluate information and opinions but realize you’re the one who will do the work, look out the window, spend the money and ultimately pay the price if it worked or didn’t work. 

Garden group enjoying a friend's gardens.
Gardeners can be the best of allies, friends and supporters.  Cultivate (pun intended) their friendship.  I’m always learning from my garden friends.  They have passions and knowledge I don’t. 

A plant given away or accepted usually thrives.  As I walk through my garden, I can identify who gave me certain plants.  It brings a smile and memory of that person or situation.

If you hate gardening, hot weather, insects, hard work and spending too much money then stop beating yourself into personally trying to make a “House Beautiful” garden.  Not everyone is cut out to be a gardener.  Hire it done or plant grass.

Don’t be afraid to trim, prune, dig up, throw away, give away or herbicide a plant that is out of control or should never have been planted.
Some plants will die.  Don’t take it personally. 

Push the boundaries of your hardiness zone and conditions.  Sometimes it will work because of micro climates or garden luck.  Note:  I wouldn’t do this with high dollar plants.  Example:  I have a beautiful “Golden Rain Tree” Koelreuteria Paniculata that shouldn’t do well where I planted nor in our zone.  I’ve had it ten years and it’s doing great.
Touring a home garden that morphed into
a garden center.
Take pictures and if you’re into it, keep records. 

Don’t be intimidated by the Latin or genus, botanical or species names.  It allows historians and plant breeders to identify but if you don’t give a hoot – don’t worry.

Consider whether a plant will benefit other nature when choosing.  Native plants benefit native insects and the benefits are huge.

Do not use insecticides without knowing everything it kills.  Insecticides seldom target just the “bad” bugs. 

Kill weeds every chance you get.  The old saying “a stitch in time saves nine” in gardening should be “a stitch in time saves thousands of hours.”

Read, read, and read.  On the flip side, don’t believe everything you read.

Someone's garden humor.
Your taste in garden plants will change over the years.  It’s OK. 

Gardening is a healthy exercise that not only helps your body but your mind.

Use sunscreen and insect repellent EVERY time you go out in the garden.  Too much sun and several insects are truly harmful to your health.

Realize your garden budget is a fictional piece of work meant to assuage guilt. 

Get to know your local nursery owners.  They want to help you have the perfect plant for your gardens.  They love plants and gardeners.  They will work with you.

Be aware of what the farmers are doing; if they are planting, spraying or tilling.  They are much more knowledgeable about the timing and needs.  Example:  If they are battling an insect or disease chances are your garden will, too.

When you visit others’ gardens, respect and accept that their ideas and gardens may not be yours.  Not only learn new things, want new things but understand you also learn what you don’t want and that’s a good thing.

Little toad enjoying the rain.

One of the good guys.
Most of all dear Newby enjoy this wonderful Blessing called nature, especially here in the Midwest.  Whether flowers, vegetables, field crops or other plants, it is a gift not given most of the world. 

No comments:

Post a Comment