A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: SO YOU WANNA GARDEN? ::: POST 4

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17 March 2011

SO YOU WANNA GARDEN? ::: POST 4

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...of course the guys can join in and have fun too, but how many guys read this blog? Are you out there? Anyone?

I thought not.

OK, so you are a senior.  The year of truly big decisions and lots of goofing off and laughter.  This year you get to have lots of fun .  You have a design, a plan, a consistent vision and now you are going to get to really shop.  Now, don't get your husbands all worried.  You don't actually have to spend a ton of money.  Plant swaps are a beautiful thing.  Splitting perennials is also a beautiful thing.  ...and your seed habit doesn't have to end now that you are a big bad senior.

This year, you get to choose whether you are going to have a woodland garden with wildflowers under the canopy or a perennial garden with roses and peonies.  You get to choose whether you are going to go for Xeriscaping or go crazy with a vegetable garden full of heirloom plants.  You will get to decide whether you should add a water feature or a custom potting bench.  You get to do all of it if you want.

How to decide?  I'm a big fan of quizzes.  You know the kind that are in Cosmo and 17?  I recently came upon a gardening quiz that was like the best of both worlds.   While I've lost the original source of the quiz (probably a Fine Gardening magazine), I have my results and answers, so here's to working backwards to create my very own quiz for YOU!

So here goes...get out your journal and a pen and get ready to search your soul...it isn't really that deep, but it is fun....go on, get your journal.  I'll wait.

OK, here are the questions.  I'll share my answers with you later, but I want you to jot down whatever comes to your mind first and second and third.  List as many things as you can think of that you would like to have, see, feel or create in your garden.  If you get stuck, feel free to look at my answers, but the point is to tap into what you really love  :)

What is your favorite garden use?  What do you long to do outdoors?  If only we had a ____________.

What is your favorite gardening mood?  What do you normally feel when you walk in your garden?  What do you want to feel?

What is your favorite plant category?  Which plants are you always staring at in magazines?  Which plants catch your eye in seed catalogues?  Which plants do you secretly want to buy every variety of?  Which plants do you bend over to smell?  Do you care about scent?  Which plants make you smile just when you think of them, without even seeing a picture or speciman?

Take it a step further.  Within the categories you've selected, what is your favorite plant?  Which plant do you want to take a photo of?  Is it weird?  Beautiful? Large? Small?  Color?

What is your favorite garden sensory effect?  What do you love to see in gardens?  What do you love to smell?  What to you love to taste and feel?

What is your favorite garden feature?  What do you clip out of magazines?  Which features do you see in other people's gardens that makes you feel a twinge of jealousy?

What do you hate?  What garden features and designs make you cringe?  What materials do you hate to feel?  What  makes you want to give up on gardening?

So  you've written down all of your answers.  Most likely, you have 4, 5, 10 answers under each questions.  Go back and pick a favorite and second favorite.  Go ahead...I know it is hard...try...


If you are having trouble, here are my answers...

What is your favorite garden use?  What do you long to do outdoors?  If only we had a ____________.

Walking, Cutting, Bird Watching, Kids Playing, Swimming, Sitting around a Fire

What is your favorite gardening mood?  What do you normally feel when you walk in your garden?  What do you want to feel? 

Private, Playful, Mysterious, Engaging, Slightly overgrown, Abundance, Farm, Woods

What is your favorite plant category?  Which plants are you always staring at in magazines?  Which plants catch your eye in seed catalogues?  Which plants do you secretly want to buy every variety of?  Which plants do you bend over to smell?  Do you care about scent?  Which plants make you smile just when you think of them, without even seeing a picture or speciman?

Spring bulbs, summer bulbs, beauitful flowers, flowers that smell amazing, edibles and herbs 

Take it a step further.  Within the categories you've selected, what is your favorite plant?  Which plant do you want to take a photo of?  Is it weird?  Beautiful? Large? Small?  Color?

Peonies, Roses, Sunflowers, Hollyhocks, Daffodils, Lilac and Lavender, Tomatoes, Lemon anything

What is your favorite garden sensory effect?  What do you love to see in gardens?  What do you love to smell?  What to you love to taste and feel?

Sight - vista and blooms, Color - white, peach, light but not pastel, Fragrance, lusty and clean,  Quiet Areas and Bubbling Areas (water and voices)

What is your favorite garden feature?  What do you clip out of magazines?  Which features do you see in other people's gardens that makes you feel a twinge of jealousy?

Winding paths, stepstons, moss, stone walls and borders, ruins, water

What do you hate?  What garden features and designs make you cringe?  What materials do you hate to feel?  What  makes you want to give up on gardening?

plastic, garish color, clashing color, random furniture with no connection, gazing balls (unless they're in a swimming pool), scraggly plants 


So what on EARTH do you do with all of this information?  Do you add up the number of times you mentioned blue and then declare you are a sapphire gardener that should only buy things in the month of April and plant in the month of October?  Ummm...no.
You squirrel the information away in your little design files in your head and let it clarify your design decisions.  You see, all you've done is take a deep look at what you want and clarified the top priorities.  You don't have to limit yourself.  I will have every single one of my {current} favorite plants in the garden this year, but when I feel enticed to buy a cactus, I won't because it doesn't fit.  I might kind of want it at the nursery, but it isn't a favorite of mine and it won't fit into the design.

So now is the time to choose your major.  Go out on a limb and say what your {garden} is going to do for the rest of {its} life!  RELAX!  Most of you realize that what you choose as your college major does or does not impact what you do for the rest of your life.  You can always change paths.  You know that.  This is the starting point though.  Pick a direction and go full force like you are a freshman going off to college.  These are the best years of your {gardening} life.  The great thing about gardening college is that it never ends :)

If you have made it this far in the post, you are clearly a little bit interested in gardening, so tell me -  What would be most helpful for you?  Should I continue with the garden college posts?  Are you interested in how to split perennials or are you more interested in specific plants?  If there are no comments, I know what to do...keep posting more recipes! :)

Here are the other posts if you would like to read more!

So you wanna Garden?  POST 4

So you wanna Garden? ::: POST 3

So you wanna Garden? ::: POST 2

So you wanna Garden? ::: POST 1 

(this post)

1 COMMENTS:

stacey Thursday, March 17, 2011  

I need the Gardening for Begginers but wanted to say 'happy day' to you!

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