For the record, I DO NOT have a green thumb. In fact, I only took up gardening out of sheer vanity. Flowers are pretty and I wanted my house to look pretty. It was supposed to be easy…lies. I thought it would be cheap, again, LIES. I was promised it would be soothing! Well, I guess it is kinda soothing but that’s not until you’ve done all the work!
Weeding is possibly my least favorite task (right behind cleaning out the shed). That’s probably why God continues to bless me with two foot high, aggressive and equally persistent weeds.
Here’s a picture of the invasive little bastards! If anyone knows, what they are or what form of kryptonite I need to get rid of them, please feel free to share.
My weeds come with their own defense systems! They have spikes capable of getting through garden gloves and out-of-worldly root systems.
To add insult to injury I’m largely ignorant when it comes to horticulture. Prime example: I repeatedly mowed down the usually tall grasses along my back fence line, only to find out, they were daylilies🤦🏾♀️
I find myself spending hours researching the best plants to drop into my ever expanding garden. Why? Because I’m just as cheap as I am lazy! Everything that goes in to the garden needs to be a perennial, deer resistant, drought tolerant, and capable of withstanding the abundance (or complete lack) of sun in its chosen new home. I’ll be damned if I spend my hard earned money on a plant that I only get to enjoy for a few weeks. Hence the research. I like to couple my internet scavenger hunt with harassing my local lawn and garden experts in person.
Mr. Miles, a retired botanist, is my go to guy. He perviously tended to the pampered plants at the national zoo. Sitting at home was boring so now he works at a local garden center. The man is a Godsend! Before I hunt him down, I take pictures of whatever area I’m hoping to work on. I try to note problems like rocky soil or shade. Then we spend 15-20 minutes roaming the garden center for the perfect plant.
After that, the hard work begins. The digging, the dirty fingers and the hardest part of all…the waiting. I don’t buy mature plants because they cost a fortune! Really, who in their right mind is paying $27+ for a hosta?!! Not this gal. I’m more a connoisseur of budget friendly bare roots. It’s challenging. At times I have the patience of a pregnant lady’s bladder. If you don’t get that reference, trust me, it isn’t much. Let me walk you through the gardener’s possible heart break. Imagine putting something in a flower pot, tenderly blanketing it in soil, watering it, talking to it, allowing it (and all of its friends) to take over your dining room table for 6 whole weeks only to be left empty handed? Yes, most of them will sprout right up but the ones that don’t sting.
Let’s recap: Gardening can totally suck. You’re sure to ruin a pair of shoes and spend more money than you ever anticipated. You’ll waste hours of your life online researching plants. They may not even live. It can be physically grueling. You’re going to make countless mistakes and weeds are aggressive. So why even garden?
Like I said, at first it was just vanity. I wanted a bit of wow. The first fall, I transplanted a couple hostas from my old place and hired a crew to drop a couple hundred bucks worth of base plants in my non existent beds. There was zero wow that year. After paying the guys who did the work, buying a lawnmower, oh yea and the actual plants…I resented the garden. Spring came and paid me back for the effort. There were vivid pops of color from bushes and blooms. And the growth, everything was just a bit taller and more lush than the year before. Before then I hadn’t fully bought into the dependable nature of perineal planting. I was sold, more important, I was hooked.
Corn thriving in the raised beds
The next year, I did a potted vegetable garden and this year we put in the raised beds. Last year I purchased young plants; this year, I started with seeds and allowed them to germinate on my dining room table. I babysat those seeds and celebrated their every development. The more I put in, the more I got out.
I guess that’s my answer to why I garden; because of everything I get out of it. There are few moments as rewarding as watching something you planted and tended to bloom or bare fruit. There’s a special pride that comes with cooking with ingredients you grew for your loved ones. Every compliment from a passerby is well deserved and even more appreciated. If vanity was the mission, I succeeded, it is beautiful and I’m really just getting started.
Can you spot Giggy relaxing in the flower bed?