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My gardening likes and dislikes.


I’ve been a member of GoY for only a week (enjoying it, nice people by the way) and thought it was time to put up my first blog for people to disagree with. I am not exactly a novice gardener. In fact my late father was a professional and worked for many years on a local estate as head gardener so as a child I really hated gardening. You got all mucky and there were funny slimy things that I was convinced would eat you, in the garden. Then the rules were so strict……… or so I thought.

Therefore as my first blog I thought I would ask other GoYers what are there pet likes and dislikes about gardening. Here’s some (but certainly not all) of mine:-

Pet hates (in no particular order):- Slugs and snails.

Red spider mite.

People who go to the local garden centre, spend £1,000 or two on fully grown plants, put them in their gardens and call themselves gardeners (especially if they then employ a man or woman to do the weeding etc.).

Formal gardens with clipped hedges and neat rows of one type of plant.

Likes (no order again):- Growing from seed or cuttings.

Watching young plants get bigger each year and wondering (in some cases) if my grand-kids will appreciate having the mature plant that I will never see, or will they just ignore or sell it?

Pushing semi-tropicals to the limit of temperature and taking winter risks. (I lose more plants that way than anything else).

Putting plants that technically don’t go together right next to each other to see how they do, then moving them when I realise that you can’t put a salt hating (I’m by the sea) acid lover in the same area as an alkaline and salt loving plant.

Totally ignoring the book on ways to grow things and trying it differently.

I love the sheer slowness of it all. If I don’t do it today then tomorrow will do.

Being able to say ‘I may be a workaholic but I know when to stop and just smell the flowers’.

And you?

More blog posts by sarraceniac

Next post: Favourite TV gardeners.



Ok Sarra, here Go's..
Snails and slugs :)
Growing a plant from seed, then when it matures, snap the top growth off :( just done this with my Brug grrr..
Buying the "perfect" plant for the border, and it Bombs :)
Buying the perfect flower colour and it turns out totally different..
Planting in spring, and seeing them "grow up" that to me is Amazing, the best part of gardening..
New projects coming together..and actually working :) thats Magic..
Growing from seed, cuttings, and bargain Plants in the sales :)))

8 Oct, 2008


Don't throw your brug out Dee. It will come back next year. But I guess you knew that.

8 Oct, 2008


Our likes:
1) To push the boundaries of what can be achieved in a tiny garden such as ours.
2)To plant using colour combinations, various textures and architectural plants as well as 'exotic' and 'tropical' plants.
3)Classical gardens with an Italianate theme and old weathered classical stone statuary.
4) Grottos, follies and eccentric water cascades.
5) Clipped box and yew and eccentric topiary, but not animal shapes!
6)Themed areas in a garden so that there is contrast and interest.

1) Gardens that are a blaze of colours with little thought given to colour combinations,so that you need to wear sunglasses to rest your eyes!
2)Badly painted and designed resin garden ornaments of squirrels and other creatures that have false glass eyes and plastic garden gnomes!
3)Concrete boots planted up with bedding plants and the latest vogue for large ceramic tea cups & saucers currently on sale in U.K garden centres then planted up and displayed in the garden!
4)Plastic garden tables and chairs particularly the white ones that are all bendy and get covered in green algae or have faded in the sunlight.
5)Neat rows or borders filled with the same plants.
6)Huge expanses of lawns with rectangular borders.
8)Slugs,snails whitefly, greenfly and other garden pests.
9)Areas of the garden left unplanted and mulched with tree bark
10)Crazy paving or concrete pathways.
11)Weeds in the garden, and plants that have not been dead headed,or have been neglected and are dying in their pots or containers.

8 Oct, 2008


Hi Grenville. Just read your profile and only read a couple of lines when I thought that your garden rang a bell. Read on and of course discovered why. Have you 'done' the Yellow Book amongst your other achievements? I'm afraid, although that is a very good idea it is amongst my dislikes. Just the idea of only one person deciding whose in or out, the blue-rinse county organisers, seems all wrong.

I'm afraid I have some badly painted resin (well reconstituted stone anyway) ornaments around my own personal area of the garden and even a couple in the new picnic area. My excuse is that they were all gifts and I can't find a way of disposing of them without offending friends. Any ideas? At least no one has given me a gnome yet but someone did try to give me a plastic table and chairs for the new area. I was able to wriggle out of that one.

9 Oct, 2008


My dislikes are slugs, snails all garden pests
my likes are growing things from seed & watching them grow.

9 Oct, 2008


Hi Sarraceniac welcome to goy you likely to get some conflicting views so here goes mine.

Likes: Any plant that gives something for most of the year
even if it has a nice architectural shape in depths of winter
but has finished for season.

Gardens that compliment the enviroment there in have no problem with modern minimalist gardens in modern buildings - or park displays in parks .

Gardeners - generally a caring breed of people who have concerns for the natural order of most things.

Wildlife - think it the best compliment if wildlife feel comfortable and safe in a garden.That includes pests as so much else often attracted by them.Thrushes snails ladybirds greenfly etc.

Dislikes: Agree with Grenvilles list plus summer bedding plants often so uninspiring esp if planted in neat little rows - sorry Dad.

Larch trees - you live in North Yorks so you ll know where I m coming from with that one.

Grey areas: Yellow book NGscheme - well wouldnt qualify and really cant imagine the level of work involved to present a garden to that standard.Have no problem with those that do and quite happy keeping my garden to myself. How do you cope with those visitors? Must almost be a full time occupation ensuring garden so presentable.Not for me and clearly I wouldnt do for them - thats gardening! Enjoy.

9 Oct, 2008


I wouldn't do for Yellow book either, Bb or I think Grenville. I just love a riot of colour and the more the clash of it the better. Wouldn't gardens be boring if we all liked the same?

9 Oct, 2008


Hi Sarraceniac,
If you take a look at our Blog 16 you will see we are in the N.G.S Yellow Book.It's the smallest garden that opens for the scheme. All best wishes,

9 Oct, 2008


Sorry Grenville I'd better clarify. When I said 'or I think Grenville' I didn't mean you wouldn't be OK for the Yellow book. I meant that my style wouldn't appeal to the Yellow book OR YOU. I had your garden figured as Yellow book as soon as I saw it. English is such a difficult language to be unambiguous in. (Or is that in which to be unambiguous?)

9 Oct, 2008


Likes: As BB said, gardens that 'fit' with their surroundings i.e. cottage gardens with cottages, parkland with stately homes etc.
A variation of shape, height and colour in a garden or a border.
Some structure so that there's always something interesting to look at.
Butterflies, bees, bats and birds in the garden.
Curves - not straight lines everywhere - boring!
Paths that lead your eye onwards and make you want to explore further
Focal points.
Pots and troughs of flowers all year round
Salvias and hardy Geraniums, Clematis and Roses (only some of my favourites!)

Gnomes and resin animals (sorry!)
Statues (e.g. copies of 'David' or 'Venus') that are far too big for their position
Weeds left too long so they seed themselves
Wood Pigeons
Cats that leave their calling cards.
Uncut grass - unless it's a wildflower meadow.
Straight lines everywhere - including rectangular lawns
Dead plants, shrubs and trees that show that the garden is not cared for - not the seasonal ones with great seed heads - they add interest!.
Flat schemes of bedding plants all the same - boring! -Maybe in a park, though...

Oh dear, I do hope that I haven't offended anybody! I did go on a bit....

10 Oct, 2008


As a former park ranger who makes garden gnomes in what little spare time I have , whose garden has become somewhat neglected Im crushed by your comments Spritz.x

10 Oct, 2008


Whoops, BB - I knew someone would get deeply hurt! I might have guessed it would be you.
I abase myself and promise to try to love little gnomes from now on....and weeds.... and rectangular lawns... (I lied - haha!)

10 Oct, 2008


Watch out Spritz. We don't want Bonkers invading the South West region with those awful garden gnomes that have the capability to self destruct and harm everything that lies in their path!

10 Oct, 2008


I'm afraid they are already there, at least in spirit, Grenville.

Does anyone remember the comedy 'The Gnomes of Dulwich' from the 1970s? It was concerned with conversations between some garden gnomes but was actually a political spoof. The gnomes turned out to be in the garden of a certain pipe smoking prime minister. The only joke I remember (but enjoyed) was hearing the PMs Yorkshire brogue saying:-

PM. 'Shall we go to the Scillies Mary? You know how I love the Scillies.'

1st gnome. ' Who are the sillies?'

2nd gnome. ' Must be the people who voted for him.'

So even as far back as then the plans to invade the SW had started.

11 Oct, 2008


Sorry That show passed me by Sarraceniac - a lot did in the Seventies - I do recall a song(?) by David Bowie called The Laughing Gnome in which he sounded like Anthony Newley.

Exploding gnomes Grenville ? Sure there a lot of people who would love to do that to them.I say save the gnome give it a home where the buffalo roam and the skies are not cloudy all day......

11 Oct, 2008


What I like is just being able to do my own thing in the garden - I just take my time and do what I want and if it doesn't please someone else then that's their problem, not mine. And if I don't finish it well it doesn't matter, it's not the end of the world. There are no deadlines ( except getting my fuchsias in before Christmas - but I enjoy doing that ). Another thing I enjoy is planting new plants, especially bulbs. And I like grottos and little nooks and cranies and hidden places. I also like climbers that can hide fences and walls.; and I enjoy the rain ( except this summer )

My dislikes are lawns ( whether straight edged or not ); miles of bare woodden fences; vine weevils; people who don't keep their dogs on a lead so that they trample through my garden and frighten Beryl and Blodyn; hot weather that causes everything to shrivel; neighbours who constantly use noisy lawnmowers and smelly barbercues ( can't spell that sorry, and can't find it in a dictionary ); rockeries that look like piles of dumped stones; plastic gnomes and marble statues.

12 Oct, 2008


I think I like all your likes Hywel and I agree with most of your dislikes too. I quite like the smell of a distant b-b-q (I get round the spelling by doing it that way) but then I am not right on top of my neighbours. The lawn-mower thing can drive you to distraction. I know that people have to mow their lawns (though why they would want one I don't know, except for animals to pooh on) but some people just drive you to distraction like the guy down the road from me who used a strimmer on his small lawn, then a lawn-mower then for some strange reason a strimmer again. 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon on a lawn about 100 feet square. LoL.

2 more dislikes I've re-discovered that aren't strictly to do with gardens, more gardeners. Gardeners are a great bunch. Most are willing to share their knowledge (even the professional ones) and often the amateurs are happy to give away surplus plants, seed, off-sets and cuttings. I know I am. But the gardeners who annoy me are the ones who believe that there is only one right way of doing things or having things and that is the way they do it. You know the type - 'You can't grow horse-radish for foliage. It belongs in the vegetable garden.' I know I grow it for foliage in difficult spots. It's better than bare earth or wood chippings and the only problem is controlling it. Even my gardening friends who know what it is think it's a good idea.

The other dislike I've been reminded of since joining GoY, although of course it is common to all forums, I'd just forgotten, are the people who join a gardening forum, are too idle (or too paranoid) to give any details about their location, simply say they are from the U.K., then ask daft questions like 'Please advise me on leaving half hardy perennials out in winter'. Surely even a complete beginner must know that conditions in , say, the Tay Valley are not the same as in the Scilly Isles. Personally I find it difficult to answer this sort of vague query even if they fail to mention something about their own garden's micro-climate. I know that people have to start somewhere but please give others enough information to work out whether you are in USDA zone equivalent 7b or 9a.

There. I've poured some fat onto the fire.

12 Oct, 2008


I don't have exploding gnomes - yet.
Maybe the invasion is on its way.
Perhaps producing self-destructive gnomes is some sort of new cottage industry starting up in Bristol.
Could be onto a winner there, Grenville. :o)

My gardens are weed-free, and reasonably private.

I have lawns with curvy edges. My dogs need somewhere to practise with their mowers and toy prams! They rarely push in straight lines, so my designs suit them to a tee, especially when Conker the Sheltie is perfecting his golfing tricks. :o)

Anyone who knows me well would be surprised if they couldn't find amongst my aubrieta, canine representatives from The Magic Roundabout and The Wrong Trousers, in the form of a model Dougal and a plastic Gromit.
However, these characters do like to hibernate in the winter months. Who can blame them ?

Being vegetarian, I don't like stinky barbecue smells spoiling the scents of a summer afternoon and evening.

My favourite days are those which are quiet and sunny, and I spend quality time, gardening with my dogs.

Springtime is special : Britain at its best.

Standing surrounded by colourful rockery plants, I love looking up into the bunches of blossom dancing on my Prunus Okumiyako.

Overseas and homesick ? Here's the scene to remember ~ our green and pleasant land, enhanced by a band of enthusiastic gardeners and their assorted ideas and designs - rockeries, stumperies, ponds, bird-baths, butterflies, vegetables, orchards, and allotments aplenty. :o)

12 Oct, 2008


TT - I keep hearing about your garden, but when I look at your page there aren't any photos of it. PLEASE post some. It sounds lovely.

12 Oct, 2008


It's kind of you to be so supportive. No camera available for a while. My photos could be a bit of a disappointment.

I've already uploaded a picture of one of my lawns being mown by a garden helper. And another photo of my raised bed, showing my beloved aubrieta and some delightful plastic ducks. My gardens aren't huge. There might not be too much more of interest.

As soon as this sunny weather ends and I retreat indoors, I'll search through my garden photos. All will have a dog or dogs as the main subject, but some might have climbers in the background ! :o)

I must see if there are any without wood pigeons, oversized statues, snails or resin animals. That could cut down the list to just a handful. :o)

Seriously though, thanks for your encouragement. :o)

12 Oct, 2008


Since this is my first year in my 60 years of life to even take notice of what is in the yard, I am astounded and excited about it all. I am in awe and wonder at how each new treasure has survived despite me instead of because of me. Ha Ha
Who would have thought when we moved here a year ago, I would look forward to my walks in the yard and find such peace and contentment in life that renews itself each year.
As for hates, that would be spiders and pincher bugs.

15 Oct, 2008


Harli ~
You're doing a great job with your yard.
You have great enthusiasm and interest. Yours is a fascinating garden and I really enjoy all your pictures.

Yesterday I added a photo of my Welsh Terrier in my front garden in spring time.:o)

15 Oct, 2008


Hi Sarra You really started something with this Blog. I have actually posted a picture of my Plastic Gnome, It''s there for the benefit of my Great Grandson. With a pretend door to stop the Cat getting at the Mouse who is the Gnome's friend.
My lawn is more Moss than Grass and I like walking on it with bare feet. It dips in the middle where the old plough furrows met, about 55 years ago when we built the house on the Nursery land.
I enjoy watching nature take over where I have to leave things alone.

15 Oct, 2008


Poaannua ~
I love the photos of your gnome and the pretend door.

Having read your 'moss' comments, I'm now going to look at my lawn in a different way. This year all sorts of plants seemed to have grown in it, especially clover, but that does make it look very green. :o)

15 Oct, 2008


Nothing like a good controversy to incite constant comment!
I don't have any plastic gnomes... just a resin Phu dog....he's fierce and his countenance keeps all the evils away...and a greenman...but he's on the wall... and a face I call Poseidon because he's the spitter in my pond...and the fallen branch from a cottonwood that seems to have Greenman's face in it's grain....I'm afraid those who will not countenance colour clash would find my garden off-putting..."explosion in a paint factory" was a term I've heard used here on goY...and it suits my patch pretty well.... I love colourful flowers, interesting leaf shapes, happy companion plants who thrive side by side, birds, (especially sparrows), spiders,earthworms and arthropods...welcome to my compost pile, butterflies, moths (not the larvae), trees and shrubs that blossom and smell heavenly, birdbaths and spring water, pea gravel paths, bricks, vines and climbers, clover (the plant and my rabbit), mossy pathways, shady spots, the hammock...the smell of fresh turned earth and hyacinthes,.summer breezes... the peaceful patter of raindrops on fallen leaves, the deep silence of a fluffy falling snow....
We all have things we dislike.... sometimes our activities as gardeners can curb or change the building walls, not just for privacy but to construct a microclimate; also for squirrel's safe transport...and for vines to climb on. I compost which could be considered a smelly unpleasant activity by some...but it's's the gardener's connection to the circle of life. Images in a garden are our way of putting ourselves (gnomes?) back into the original garden, and if that makes a gardener happy, who am I to tell him/her otherwise?
.I don't understand why the urban population has to have unofficial competitions for the lushest (silly) green strip across the front of their properties...lawns are a colossal waste of time and money...just keep the weeds cut...they are also green..and when cut neatly look presentable enough... I guess if I had to name my number one dislike .. turf management would be it!
I think being or becoming a gardener is a very grounding experience... (no pun intended);-)

25 Oct, 2008


Lori. I thought this thread was dead, defunct, extinct, no more etc. But I read your thoughts and wondered if you are perhaps related to Dylan Thomas? It is just a great summing up of gardening and all that is best (except perhaps spiders, I have arachnophobia) in the, no not hobby, let's say lifestyle.

By the way, I do have a Foo (or Phu) dog. It's in the new 'Chinese ambience' picnic area. And it has a pup. But it is ceramic so I think in garden snobbery that doesn't count. - LOL.


25 Oct, 2008


John and Lori. You have really covered the whole joy of Gardening. Its great to know others feel the same and can express it so well.

25 Oct, 2008


Just a few more :-
I love :
Smells : damp autumn leaves, and wood smoke. New mown grass ( but not the mower racket of others, or having to mow it myself) and anything with a perfume that stops you in your tracks.
Wildlife, even if it does sometimes drive me to distraction. (Frog, or snail, in the watering can, being just one that comes to mind - you can't pour the water properly with a frog stuck in the spout).
The anticipation of spring, every year.

Hates : rabbits, slugs, snails, caterpillars, earwigs, and anything else that DARES to eat my flowers or veg. Having to use chemicals because all other methods have failed. Holly leaves hiding in wait for my ungloved hand.

3 Nov, 2008


1 Opiopogon nigrescens. Especially if it is 'cleverly' planted in black gravel, thus 'The Amazing Invisible Plant'. Sorry, I know some of you grow this plant!

2 Rockeries filled with teeny-weeny little plants that you have to get down on your hands and knees to see properly. And, no, I'm not fooled - I know it's just a pile of stones and I haven't just found myself in the Alps!

3 Neighbours' children + trampolines = "Hello!"...... "Hello"....... "Hello"....... And their b***** footballs >:-(

4 Neighbours (getting specific here) who build almighty roofed open-sided structures on raised platforms so that they are overlooking your garden and have huge dinner parties in them (to which I'm not invited) and sometimes cart a TELEVISION out there, so that you have to listen to Match of the flippin Day while your gardening!!!

5 People who buy houses with ENORMOUS gardens and make me very envious, because I'd love to have a bigger garden if I could, and then just leave the whole lot to lawn. See loads of gardens like that round here..... :-(


7 Nettles - I ALWAYS seem to find one, even if I'm extremely careful and even if I'm wearing gloves and I seem to be more sensative to the stings than I used to be and one sting makes my whole hand hurt <:-(

8 Monty Don.

1 Gardens with formal layouts and informal planting that spills over the edges and softens the lines. I think these types of garden look good all year round. Nothing like my own garden, then!

2. Oh LOTS! To many likes to list :-)

3 Nov, 2008


Oy Sid. I love black grass. (Good job we are not all the same.)


3 Nov, 2008


Thanks for your comment Sarra because it has reminded me that this is one of the blogs where I was asked about my photos.
Good news ! I uploaded a photo yesterday :o)
Dug in old pictures and found how Sedum spectabile used to look not that many years ago when covered in pretty butterflies.
Where have they all gone ? [ The years AND the butterflies ]

3 Nov, 2008


You are not the first to comment on fewer butterflies, TT. We are seeing fewer and fewer over here too. I planted SS beneath my Maple and it doesn't seem to like the root competition.. my neighbour's are huge...but mine are pokey! Alas!

4 Nov, 2008


Lori ~
That's sad you're seeing less butterflies in Ontario province. Butterflies are such a wonderful sight en masse.

Maybe try your sedum in richer soil with wetter roots?
I have one unusual coloured sedum which wasn't doing well in the ground. So I put it in a pot of compost with lots of watering, and it grew really huge. :o)

4 Nov, 2008


Compost will do it every time, TT!! will be doing a lot more potting in future.

4 Nov, 2008


OH JOY, this is my kind of rant.

Just glancing at a few of the comments got my own blood pressure up.

Pet hates (in no particular order):- Slugs and snails.
At least you guys have a bird (thrush) that eats the snails. We do not. Build birdhouses to attract them.


Gnomes and resin animals -Sptizhenry
I am surprised no one mentioned plastic pink flamingos. If one does this one should do it with panache. On a cold winter day, bring out the beach umbrella, the drinks and sit in your lounge chair watching your flamingos.
This is especially good if your lawn faces a busy road.

Badly pruned trees.
Root Weevels -- I just hate bugs that are underfoot. Rotten Skulkers. I know you have your hedgehogs, but we have Mt. Beavers. They resemble marmotes, but actually will climb up a tree (including HOLLY) and simply eat the limbs off and return to their holes. In one day they can destroy a huge Rhododendron.
The upside being they make great PELTS! Same for moles, great toupe material.

Gardeners who are so bloody stupid when spraying pesticides. Not wearing gloves, long sleeves and spraying it in the wind so the neighbor next door gets the drift.

Sid dislikes Ophiopogon nigrescens.
WHAT! Its one of my favorite plants. Put it with Hakenochlea, or silver foliaged plants like Chyrsanthemum hosmariense. (new name now) If you totally wacko plant it with Libertia peregrinans. Out of this world. Then again I went to a college that was painted blue and orange. Things like that affect one. Landscaping with a lot of purple, black and orange suggests a sociapathic gardener I think.

Gratuitous moundaging and the overuse plastic ground tarp.


24 Nov, 2008


OMG - beavers that climb trees and eat them from the top down? Glad don't have THOSE here!

No-no-no. You just can't convert me re Ophiopogan nigrescens. It's still a puney-little, dingy-coloured, weedy-spidery, ugly thing!

<runs and hides....>

25 Nov, 2008


Oh Sid,

Aside from your or my own prejudices, think of it this way. If you had dwarf Dierama, Gentians and say Shooting Stars add the S.African bulb Rhodohypoxis and NONE sell, but this plant does. Would that not color your outlook a bit. Not just from a seller/grower perspective ... but that other people do want it!.

Personally, I think much is about ignorance. We are seeing a dumbing down of the gardening public. What I used to see being offered in nurseries (in the U.S.A) twenty years ago was better than what it is today. If you have followed some of my rants on this you will understand.

Will there be a rebound? Hard to say. As a kid (a weird one perhaps) I was influence by some hard core plant loving Nurserymen in Oakland CA. Navlet's Nursery Even by my High School Gardener. What kids today would be so influenced?

I am approaching 60, yet continue to watch the earth and sky for every new discovery, be it clouds, stars or birds. Too many kids today's are just glued to their Ipods and whatever. These head- besetted kids addicted to music and electronic input are our future I fear.Now it is instant texting and babble. Some do not even look at the light as they cross the street. Their eyes are downwards, not outward or foreward.

I am not gambling on a future age of new gardeners. I think it was done in with the generation just before my own.

Back to the thread. Black Mondo Grass is simply a unique groundcover, blended properly with interesting foliage types, silver, white or gold it can be breathtaking.

We all have our prejudices (I have my own) until we are met with a circumstance that says WOW! I think that some of my Black Mondo Grass combinations are that.

As for converting you ... do remember that we are all getting older and the time remaining for conversion is all too short. So I would suggest repenting such minor infractions of being a green prejudiced person, while you slowly consider others.

Being green impaired should not lead to the road of horticultual shunning. I accept Hakenochlea gold, Sedum white, Hosta blues, Libertia bronze and all colors inbetween! Once in a while, even variegated things! :-)

I have yet to hear a cognizant reason for your dislike! Please explain.

Now another neat but weedy plant that I used to sell was Geranium nigrescens. It is a very dwarf, dark brown munchkin of a Geranium. Totally hardy as a groundcover. it also spreads. It was a hot seller, always!

A famous horticulturist from Britain I think wrote in his book on Alpines, a plant description "dingiest of things" and the description got even worse. Though having passed through the Himalayas three times and having written three books on Alpines, he died in his thirties. Somewhere off a cliff I think. That is what we get for slamming the dingy and the unlikeable!

I put it into Bita's garden, she loved it. Now it has run amuck. Her comment that floored me. "It's a good plant to wipe your feet on." I will always remember that. She and her husband own the property that I posted a picture on. She has since passed on, but remains one of my most powerful female influences. I miss her every day I work that garden.!

26 Nov, 2008


hmmm....must be a sociopath! how did I get on here, then?

27 Nov, 2008


I used to be a cycadpath Lori, but now I'm only a sarraceniac, which is better than being a manureiac.

27 Nov, 2008


<comes out of hiding>

Oh, blimey. How to reply? Where to start? Right then…

To be honest, I'm a bit prejudiced against any 'vertically challenged' plants. Of course there are many exceptions, but I love your friend's description 'good plants to wipe your feet on!' Ha ha - nice one. As for people buying these little plants - well there's no accounting for taste sometimes! No, that's unfair. I DO like these plants. They, like all species of plant and animal, have a place in the world and I'm glad someone takes an interest in them. I am not one unable to see beauty in the smallest of things. It's just that they simply do not have a place in a garden like mine. Mine is a smallish town garden and space is at a premium and, as a plantaholic, what space I do have is very well stocked (AKA literally bursting with plants!) I used to have the philosophy that if a plant was not 'man' enough to survive my garden, then I didn't mind losing it! These days I'm a bit more sympathetic to my plants’ needs - I have certain areas where the more vigorous plants grow and others where I can safely slot in something a bit more 'shy' where it wont get swamped! It's a jungle out there. SO you see, a little tiny-weeny murky-lookin' grassy thing firstly prob wouldn't survive anyway in my garden - it would get swamped by the big boys - but even if it did survive, you just wouldn't see it! You would be drawn to the swaying clumps of bearded irises, the drifts of 4ft tall cosmos all buzzing with bees, the dinner-plate sized dahlias, the lofty golden haze of Stipa gigantea, the bold accents of phormiums, hostas and Euphorhia c. subsp. wulfennii, the delicate hues of the ephemeral day-lillies and the star-bursts of asiatic lilies and roses.......... Simply no room for the boring in there!!!

But moving on....

Sorry, but I can't agree with your 'dumbing down' point. More people are gardening than ever before - it is very much a growing industry. More people are gardening for pleasure than ever before. Allotments here in the UK are in the highest demand for decades. If anything, I'd say that gardening programs over-complicate gardening and (perhaps) scare people away from trying to grow plants. I bet there are just as many ‘experts’ as there ever was – probably far more as more young people get the chance to go to university and many choose horticultural as a degree subject.

You go on to comment about the electronic generation. Well, I won't say what I think of kids these days (half of them need culling in my opinion) but let us not forget where we are - THE INTERNET. Opening up discussions such as this one! Allowing us to answer questions and ask them too. Sharing the knowledge and swapping seeds and plants - tech is a power for good if you choose to use it as such.

I think at this point I would do well to point out that I am the grand old age of.....wait for it......29. And so bow down to your greater breadth of experience as a nurseryman. But while no longer a whipper-snapper, I have been gardening since I was a kid (yes, like you, a bit odd maybe?!) but I don’t think I’m alone in this. I feel sure that gardening will always be with us – it’s no longer something just for the oldies! Gardening will always be good for the soul and people will always love it, I feel sure. And so we move forwards (not backwards), upwards (not downwards) and twirling! Forever twirling………

Pardon? Oh right, yeah. Being a green prejudiced person. If you check out my plants on my page, you will find that there are many plants in my garden anything but green! Go on, dare ya. :-D

27 Nov, 2008


I think I go along with most of Spritzhenry's comments.

I would add one or two further thoughts..
"People who go to the local garden centre, spend £1,000 or two on fully grown plants, put them in their gardens and call themselves gardeners (especially if they then employ a man or woman to do the weeding etc.)"

I would add ... they then plant these expensive plants without putting the base minimum into soil preparation, staking etc. Years later (I will start with a 100.00 plant) has evolved into a 500. dollar plant and dies. Your chintzing, has not cost you the 100 dollar investment, but all the care and labor between ... and the replacement will be dear.

Garden thieves. Not just of plants or cuttings, but that of ideas. This is a prickly issue with me. Especially about writers. I might just post a comment on an upgrade to that story about my home. I will put in a view of the garden, praying that someone fingerpinches the idea.

SID, is so for ever needing to redeem himself with his shot in the foot ending. He admits that he (I think) is" a green prejudiced person," then goes on to say that he has some friends nestled therein that are not. He should have left out that line and the pardon would be granted.

It is like saying I don't like gays, but I have a few friends that are, that sort of allowance. Worse yet, he also has issues with the vertically challenged plant. That I simply cannot pardon or forgive. It was modified with a "bit."

I happen to grow rockery plants and love the Gentian, Rhodohypoxis. You might have to be a Gunnera to fit into Sids garden, but i like everything small to tall.

It was a good post, and I might take a ribbing on the dumbing down thing. But we Americans did elect a Bush. That says it all. He was the most dumbed down President we have had in a century. Fifty percent of Americans voted. 25 percent voted for that inarticulate and ridiculous sub-shrub. Seventy five percend did not. We got what we deserved.

As for the paragraph near the end. I pray and hope Sid is right. I have a feeling Victory gardens may soon be very necessary and that many of those ipods and texty things may revert to the trowel and the spade. I too believe in moving forward and so have gambled against all economic realities. My present hovel represents my economic poweress regarding the market. Buy high, sell low.

Thank you Sid for, "I love your friend's description 'good plants to wipe your feet on!' Ha ha - nice one." You would have liked her. She was a very young Old One. I am glad I had a twenty year taste of her soul.

I would like to know your take on the leaf impared plants I love. The Senecio I have, or some of Euphorbias, etc.

Okay, what does :-D mean? I dare you? What is back at you? :-}

This thread killed me, off to the mulching bed for me.

3 Dec, 2008


Sorry Sarraceniac...

Ouch!.... a manuriac? I was referring to Skyline's observation about people who like a lot of orange, dark purples and blues in their gardens as sociopaths... since I love brilliant colours and deep blues and purples I was musing that I must be a sociopath...never been psychoanalized before based on my choice of garden colour scheme!!
I was not referring to your lovely friend...but I fear the position of my response relative to your last post may have made it appear so... not the case, I assure you!

5 Dec, 2008


Quote of mine.

"Things like that affect one. Landscaping with a lot of purple, black and orange suggests a sociapathic gardener I think"

That commentary really comes out of MANY garden articles that talk about the use of colors in the garden landscape. Do a goggle search.

I went to a University that was painted blue and orange. It would have fit the bill. My own preferences love these colors and I use Purple, black and orange into many of my designs. I think they are grand.

I do NOT agree with many of these garden experts who make these psychological comparisons. Trust me that is not what I meant to do. My articulation in the ending comment may have suggested so, but I have spent too many years working with such people to do that.

Garden editors make all too many glib comparisons to the mental health of the gold loving gardener. The coolness and serenity of the blue garden etc.

I am one who loves contrasts, so it is the gold of the Hakenochlea with the Smoke tree. Agapanthus Mood Indigo with Crocosmia 'Emily McKenzie gold that are in my own garden compositions..

I hope I have explained and apologized

5 Dec, 2008

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