Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Too Lazy for Gardening

     This post is inspired by DJan who recently graced us with some nice photos of her retirement garden, which flourishes in the moist, moderate climate of Bellingham, WA. And I have seen plenty of other pictures from bloggers that show wonderful, colorful gardens from Vermont to Florida, from Arizona to Hawaii. I recently read that gardening is one of the top ten most-favorite activities of retired people -- behind traveling and family time, but ahead of golfing and fishing.

     So I thought I'd post some photos of my own landscaping efforts. I admit they're relatively modest compared to the cornucopia of vegetables and flowers and perennials that garnish some other retirement sites. But the truth is, while I like to garden, I am too lazy to be a good gardener.

     My brother-in-law, in Pennsylvania, plants two huge gardens -- he has an acre of corn and beans and squash out front, and another half-acre plot in the back with tomatoes and herbs. And the whole place is framed by sunflowers and other decorative plants. He's a teacher. And he spends almost all his spare time -- probably 20 - 30 hours a week, from April through October -- taking care of that garden.

     But me? My efforts are too sporadic. And if there's a shortcut to be had, I take it. If there's a step to skip, I skip it. And that doesn't work when it comes to gardening. (Not home repairs, either, but that's another story.)

     The result? I planted this garden out back. We got one lily.

 
     I don't know what the problem is. But it can't be the soil, or the climate, because here are the lilies growing in my next-door neighbor's yard:


      I know when you put in flowers, preparing the soil is a crucial step. But it's hard! I never dig the holes deep enough. I forget the fertilizer. I do give the new plants plenty of water -- but I don't follow through and continue to water them until they get firmly established.

     That's why I do best with naturally occurring, locally indigenous plants. When we moved into our house, I found several scraggly bushes at the edge of a small patch of woods out back. I transplanted them to the side of the house. Then I strutted over to B and crowed, "Now, that's what I call landscaping!"

     And she replied, "Well, that's what I call pricker bushes!" Okay, they may not be pretty. But now, a few years later, they do look healthy, don't they?


      There's another indigenous plant that I can grow. Except it is not so much indigenous specimen as it is an invasive pest. I spend almost as much time cutting down these vines as my brother-in-law spends tilling his tomato patch.


      Now B has put a few planters and a window box out back on our deck. I think she has a slightly greener thumb than I do. Plus, she does it right. She got some potting soil; she waters them regularly; she placed them in just the right spot, where they get sun . . . but not too much sun.


     She even weeds the window box. Weeding? What's that all about? I hate to weed. Besides, aren't weeds just naturally occuring indigenous plants, ones that suburban dwellers simply fail to properly appreciate? For example, look at these indigenous purple flowers blooming in my lawn.


     But the lawn is another story altogether, perhaps one for another blog post. Meanwhile, I walk the dog every morning, and every morning we go past my other neighbor, who really knows what he's doing when it comes to gardening.


     But, really, now . . .  don't ya think he's kind of showing off!


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

DH and I are the epitome of lazy gardeners. We live on 3.5 acres (2 of which have been cleared. the rest has been left in its 'natural forest state')and we have absolutely NO garden. DH follows the natural land line and just mows the weeds short enough till it actually looks like grass. When we first moved here 13 years ago, we planted 100 day lilies. Each and every year since then, the deers have eaten every single one. I've never seen a day lily bloom. We've never gardened again.
DH just rides his tractor every two weeks or so and mows down every single thing in sight.
Looks great!

Pam said...

We have 10 frontage acres and it used to be very well groomed. We'd spend every spare minute watering, weeding, mowing and trimming. No more. When I turned 60 I woke up and realized if I wanted to keep my knees, hips and back healthy, something had to give. I've torn out flower beds and sewn them to grass; we let the pasture around our pond grow naturally; and our garden has been reduced to a manageable size, complete with weeds. Hubby and I love it!!

Linda Myers said...

We rip out the weeds - morning glory and blackberries. And tend the raised beds, the (one each) pear, apple and cherry tree. It's great to be outside in the dry season here in Washington State.

DJan said...

Ha! Yes, I think your neighbor is showing off. I love to grow these things in my garden, but I also don't love trying to keep up with the weeds. And yes, they are definitely NOT wanted. :-)

Olga Hebert said...

My garden efforts serve as an all-you-can-eat buffet for the woodchucks. Yet, I persist.

Stephen Hayes said...

I seem to be Dr. Kevorkian when it comes to plants. I think your garden looks great. Sometimes plants need a few years before they take off. I read that somewhere.

Tabor said...

Gardening is not for the faint of heart. At least 6 hours a week depending on size for checking out plants, weeding, watering, trimming, dividing. Sorry but that is the truth of it.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

If you can't grow day lillies, perhaps you are correct in finding a better hobby. Ha! I find gardening most frustrating, but great fodder for writing material. Like today, I used a paint brush to pollinate my female cucumber plants as no bees are visiting my garden. I was mad that I'd already posted a new blog post. I think one titled "I Just Had Sex With My Cucumber Plants" would have been much more fun than what I wrote. Oh, well. Perhaps if it works, I can write one on being a parent of the fresh pickles in my fridge.

See - I'm certain you had a more exciting day than me.

gigihawaii said...

I have a hard time gardening. Just don't care to.

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