Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top 5 Gardening Lessons I Learned in 2011

5.  Massing is not to be underestimated!  My pent up gardening desires led me to plant too many groups of 3's and 5's of various plants.  Result - lack of overall cohesiveness in the garden.  What can I say, I love them all!  However, massing will be front and center in the redesign of Greene Garden in 2012.

4.  "Shade" does not mean "part shade" or "dappled sunlight".  "Shade" means "SHADE"!  My long departed Pulmonaria, Mertensia Virginica and Cimicifuga all would have to agree.  May God rest their souls.

3.  There is apparently a black hole at Greene Garden into which go my gardening tools and gloves.  I have yet to find the dratted hole, but I imagine I'll run across it in 2012.  For now, one wooden mallet, 2 right hand gloves and 1 left hand glove, a trowel, gardening twine and a pair of secateurs are hibernating in that hole.

2.  There is a lot of gardening advice on the internet.  A LOT.  Sometimes, almost TOO MUCH for my rather small brain to take in all at once.  And I love reading every piece of guidance, warning, two-cents, judgement, instruction and encouragement.  One thing I realize from reading these wonderful blogs and websites is that I don't have to be on one side of the proverbial fence on any matter.  I can enjoy, or at least appreciate, both formality and looseness in design, natives and non-natives, and complex and simple color palettes for example.  

1.  My garden will always be imperfect in a perfect way.  I love trying to understand the imperfections, figuring out how to improve them, get rid of them or otherwise make them work in this garden of mine.  I love it all.  Top to bottom, leaf to root, and "sun" to "shade".  That, to me, is what gardening is all about.  

Here's to lessons to be learned in 2012!


  1. Michael,

    I absolutely love the 'May God rest their souls' comment. My issue with shade is that I always underestimate how dry my shade is. I really need to get it into my head that I can't grow ligularia and petasites,try as I may.

  2. I seem to push the shade issue in my shade garden often...I learned that lesson....I am guilty of planting one of each plant and having no observed design...i need to mass a bit more....and that hole that sucks the tools up seems to pop open in my garden...must be a vortex that moves about...love the lesson!!

  3. So true, although I don't have to worry about the shade issue as I don't have any at all.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  4. Love it, you have made progress and it looks great. With gardening one learns along the way by trial and error and it can take a lifetime.

  5. As the years have gone by, I have found that gardening is the one thing that lets me totally unwind and makes me forget about everything else. I am so intent on getting those weeds out of my garden that I become intensely focused on it.

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  6. Your garden looks great. I also love gardening and landscaping. These are the 2 things I love to do when at home. With my ability to do some landscaping techniques, I managed to make a landscape with natural and synthetic grass planted and installed. They look so natural and beautiful.

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