Monday, March 27, 2017

Annuals: Easily Have Them or Not at All

Great lip service is given to the quote, "I want my garden to be low maintenance."  What follows that request, as a professional listening to a new client, is the full monty destroying their request for low maintenance.
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I want to look out the windows of my home and the garden views, each and every one, are, "Oh wow."  More,  I want to enjoy myself in my garden.  You know, "Come for lunch this Friday, we'll have lunch in the garden."  In a few days it will be Saturday.  Zero thoughts contemplating garden chores, instead, "Should be a good Saturday to sit in the Adirondack overlooking lake, woodland, chickens, and begin reading my new book that arrived last month."
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About garden chores.  The few I do have are not 'chores', instead they are the gift of stewardship in partnership with Nature.  Best metaphor-come-to-life, to me, for washing-of-the-servant's-feet.  'Gift' is too small in scope, an honor.
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Back to low maintenance gardening.  A garden to be enjoyed, below.

Landscape...:
Pic, above, here.

Colorful annuals have their place.  Somehow they've become the go-to-must-have landscape design ingredient.  Before epiphany, stewardship-not-chores, I knew if a residential landscape design 'needed' annuals, the design was a failure.  Commercial landscape design is another beast entirely.  Yet, thought thru, even they don't need annuals swapped 2x yearly.

 Post Hole Digging for Pot-in-Pot
Pic, above, here.

If you want annuals in your garden, above/below, fabulous method to make it easier.  Before eco/sustainable, having worked professional propagation for years, I knew how toxic the annual flower industry is to Earth.  Packaged soil, wooden pallets shrink wrapped with goods, plastic plug trays, plastic hoop houses, heating/cooling, fungicides, insecticides, pre-emergents, trucking/transportation, mulching.  Nope, nothing eco/sustainable there.  Instead, self-seeding annuals are my choice, if needed at all.
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 Dropping in Pot-in-Pot a
Pic, above, here.
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Annuals could go into the garden, below.  But they don't 'have' to.

 You know this house just has to wonderful
Pic, above, here.
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And the conceit of low maintenance, above, in this garden flows around the entire property, below.

 
Pic, above, here.
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Great use of colorful annuals, below.  You are in charge of adding the color, as needed, not the garden with a swath of dead annuals due to a change in season.

 Inside there is a dining area and fireplace lighting and music complete the scene
Pic, above, here.
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I'm giving a garden talk in April, they requested a certain title, Color in the Garden for Sun/Shade.  Sure I'll do some annuals, don't want to alienate any newbies.  Remember, stewardship.  In addition, I will include plenty of color used historically, green.  My hope is to widen horizons.
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Garden & Be Well,  XOT

2 comments:

Dewena said...

Tara, I've really been impressed with your message in past posts to put money into trees, shrubs, hedges instead of annuals and it was such a surprise to my husband who was in our family garden center business for over 20 years when we were first married. It's beginning to make sense to him now as we have a limited budget at our new home. I made lists of different things I've seen in your posts, especially those shrubs that bloom successively and I printed out pictures of them and taped them up to keep reminding him of our priorities. I know he's still going to want some annuals but I think he'll be happy with using pots for them, not beds. And I know that spring bulbs will have to be ordered for fall because there was only one clump of them, daffodils, anywhere this spring, which was a surprise to me not to see more around a 1935 farmhouse. However, this weekend our son and his family came to visit and they discovered a dozen or more big clumps of daffodils growing behind the barn, buried under tree limbs in a thicket that we hadn't even discovered. It looked as if they had just been pulled up and thrown back there on mounds of dirt and maybe manure, lush in greenery but no flower stalks due to little light.

And they raked drifts of dried leaves off beds where pinks were growing and lamb's ears, and rosemary. So it's not as if nothing was ever done here once the existing shrubs and trees were planted. At our stage of life I see it as being baby steps ahead of us but it's exciting to know that we can contribute some things to add here, a little at a time if only we won't blow our budget on annuals that will be gone once cold weather comes.

Lissy Parker said...

Thank you Tara for featuring my photos! I was so excited to see the referrals. I love your blog, Pinterest and Instagram pages.
xo, lissy