Though Nikabee’s garden is starting from almost a clean slate and mine from a pretty full plate, we have the same basic goal in mind: plant pretty stuff and hope it doesn’t take over and/or die. If you had followed us around during a recent trip to a local nursery, this goal would have been obvious.
Since I am in no way a master gardener, it was a bit like our own version “the blind leading the blind” if you replace “blind” with “squirrels driving tractors.” A little bit of guidance and realization of an easier road to travel on, means less destruction and dead plants in our wake. I’ve worked in a garden in one way, shape, or form since I was a kid and I know there is a lot of trial and error… and error… and error.
As we wandered about, I shared with her what I have planted, what I have killed both quickly and via a slow yellowing death, what died on its own, what survived, and what I would never ever plant again because it is evil and wants to take over the world, or at least the flowerbed. She picked out a cart full of perennials and annuals to add to the few perennials she planted last year that were originally from my flowerbeds.
What I gave her last year was a good start at proving that some things, such as sedum, will survive even if the flowers are snipped off by a rabbit and others, such as a name unknown but pretty groundcover, just take twice as long to appear as their neighbors.
It is also really nice to share another hobby with a friend. We already do regular knit nights and now I foresee more gardening mornings and/or afternoons being added. Since we both have limited gardening budgets as well, this will be an interesting challenge to see what we can do without going crazy and wanting to buy everything in a nursery or a garden center of a larger store.
While I know I can go crazy, I was very good this time and bought one plant, a coneflower that is supposed to have orange-red petals. I branched out from the more common pink petaled versions last year when I picked up a few “Hot Sombrero Coral.” The deep warm colors were a step away from my usual tendency to buy new plants with purple or golden hued flowers.
This year I want to choose some plants with different colored and/or patterned leaves and will probably pick up a few annuals for my planters that I hadn’t considered before. One variation of coleus is a current idea and what I referred to as the “dinosaur plant.” The texture and colors of the leaves make me image it as the skin of some massive dinosaur head coming around a corner.
I’d mix it up with various other annuals and put it in one of my oversized planters. I just need to figure out which ones which means more shopping/browsing trips…and then more ideas… and more trips… and then more ideas…