When people find out I do some free lance writing, they immediately ask what it is I usually write about, assuming most of the time that it’s food. Actually, it’s gardening. Which then leads to them saying something like, ‘oh you must have a wonderful garden’. Actually, no I don’t. Things get neglected and crowded and weeds take over and there is absolutely no plan to it whatsoever, in fact, sometimes I’m liable to just walk out and randomly dig holes in which to plant things because I just feel like digging. But this spring I decided that I going to start trying to take my own advice, I’m going to try to be the sort of gardener I wrote about.
I recently published a set of articles in Central Virginia HOME and Roanoke Valley HOME on the subject of annuals. Outside of marigolds, nasturtiums, zinnias and cosmos, I tend to ignore annuals to be honest. I adore geraniums and begonias, but I don’t consider them annuals because I bring mine inside every winter and baby them until they bloom again. But after spending so much time talking, researching and writing about a variety of annuals, I decided the least I could do was mix up my hanging baskets.
I tend to stick to what I know works with my lazy gardening approach – I want to stick plants in my hanging baskets, lower them to front porch when it rains to water them and that’s about all the effort I put into them. They’re really not at all exciting, but by planting mostly begonias and pinks (aka, dianthus, aka sweet william), they are always in bloom.
So I mixed it up this spring, but of course, couldn’t be bothered to actually remember what I planted (baby steps here people on this whole ‘becoming the gardener I write about’ thing), although digging through my gardening box, I did manage to find the tag of at least one plant I wasn’t sure of, so hooray! I have a name! And it’s of something that didn’t quite work out – the lobelia. I’ve already killed one and the rest are looking leggy, which does not bode well considering it’s only June. The snapdragons in the back porch hanging basket aren’t looking good either, but in the case of both, it very well could be my fault. It’s not them, it’s me. I’m willing to accept that responsibility.
I have however, developed an appreciation for coleus, which is as hardy and wonderful as all the professionals I interviewed for my articles promised. I’ll definitely be planting them again which means I’ve officially branched out ! That counts as growth and mixing it up, right? Which means I’m successfully on my way to becoming the gardener I write about. Life goals indeed.