Saturday, April 14, 2012

Five Things Every Garden(er) Needs

Pass-along Peony from a neighbor in Virginia
A few weeks ago there was a gardening supplement in the local paper.  One article had a main topic as "Five things every garden needs."  When I heard the topic I thought I would ask some gardeners what THEY had as their five.  

I asked the question on Facebook's page "Soiled Again", a page that is billed as a 'Common ground for gardeners'.  I had a number of responses.  Many gave serious answers, others were rather funny.  One said , "Her and four burly guys".  Had a neighbor come see my garden today and seeing my bales of pinestraw sitting along the garden by the water, said that I needed to borrow her yard guy (her husband!).  I will get to spreading them (maybe tomorrow).  

Pretty Columbine from seeds from Lona 
Some answers were tool oriented; wheelbarrows, tomato cages, pruners, rain barrel, compost bin, fencing to keep critters out, shovels, and a soaker hose.  All great tools to have on hand.   I certainly use many of these tools, it would be hard to garden without them.
Kniphofia from a college roommate of my daughter's
Other answers were more design focused.  Items to be included in a garden to the design-minded gardeners were a focal point, a water feature, a place to sit, good pathways, an open gate, and an ATM! Love the humor.
Bloom on my culinary sage
Beneficials were also on the lists from many of the gardeners.  Worms for healthy soil, bees and other pollinators for all the blooms.  Birds and other critters were to be considered, native plants for food sources and host plants for insects.
Ajuga 'Black Scallop'
Passion, enthusiasm, patience, creativity, joy, flexibility are tools that the gardener should have.
Hibiscus moscheutos 'Kopper King', great foliage color
in addition to the soon to come blooms.
Finally plant material was mentioned.  Conifers for evergreen structure, Cyclamen hederifolium for cute blooms, seeds for sowing, 'Right plant- right place' is the mantra, and water are all included on the list.  
Clematis 'Rebecca' blooming like crazy this year!
One gardener said camera...funny, we ALL are using our cameras in the garden, I feel naked without my camera while in the garden.  The camera can be a tool to track plants from one year to the next or share some of your glorious blooms with others.  
Rosa 'Janet' full of buds already this year.
My five?  Color, fragrance, year round interest, native plants, and colorful foliage.  Those are my five TODAY, ask me tomorrow and I might have other items on the list.  We gardeners are a fickle lot.  Pass-along plants are always welcome.  How many of us have seen a new plant and lusted after it?    This is the case with this plant below.  I saw it in a garden in Virginia, marked the name in my mind and finally added it.
Gladiolus byzantinus, love that color!
Speaking of color, who can resist this glorious thistle?  It is pretty thorny, but it is in the front area by the street where we thought about a yucca or an agave....so in the meanwhile, the thistle can be here!  Native plants are welcome.

Look at this pretty bloom!

What would you include for your five?

©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

40 comments:

  1. as a shade gardener (mostly) i really appreciate layers, so that would be on my list. a canopy with understory trees, shrubs, perennials and ground covers is just a pleasure. fragrance is on my list, too. and native plants. and year round interest...you came up with a good list!

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    1. Daricia, I like your list. I appreciate layers too.

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  2. Love this post! I definitely need my husband to dig holes (it is a bear to dig in this clay and rock...we sit on a granite outcrop from Stone Mountain). I need time because I never seem to have enough of it to spend in the garden. And an endless amount of money wouldn't hurt either :o). I have that thistle growing in the empty lots around my house too. Really a great plant...as a host plant to several butterflies including swallowtail, skipper and checkerspot. Hummingbirds, bees and goldfinches like them too! Maybe you can incorporate them with your agave or yucca. I think that would look pretty!

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    1. Karin, We have some hard clay areas where I need my husband to dig holes as well. I am still enjoying the thistle...two more blooms have appeared. I like your idea of incorporating the thistle with yuccas and agave.

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  3. Good "bones" in the garden and in my body.
    A water feature.
    Stable, but pretty paths.
    Spring, summer and winter succession blooms or pretty foliage. (I hibernate in the winter)
    Good places to sit to look at the results.

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    1. Freda, Yes, good bones --- my pathways need to be stablized, can't wait to see yours.

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  4. I think I saw that post on the burly guys. That is what I need too! Hubby and I just can't hold up as well as we used be able to do. I'm with Daricia too, layers, they are my thing. Trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, annual, vines...well you get it. Have a great day!

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    1. Tina, yes, burly guys was pretty funny. There have been a lot of great ideas here!

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  5. Great post...you hit upon my 5 in there especially color, natives and critters...love that thistle

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    1. Donna, thanks. Glad we see eye to eye on the 5!

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  6. In addition to every plant I see, I would like to have:
    a very small pond or stream,
    more butterflies,
    windchimes,
    an arbor,
    and a shady glade to enjoy at the end of the day.
    I think I'll go buy some windchimes today!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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    1. Lea, I know, I want all the plants I see too. We have a couple windchimes, love them.

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  7. I enjoyed your post very much, and always am a sucker for articles with 5 things. It is not like you you can guess them or anything, lol. The one lady had it so right, her and four burly guys. Loved that thistle, so do the butterflies.

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    1. Donna, I am glad you enjoyed this post. There were some very clever ideas.

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  8. Nice post! You have a good eye for color and great photos. ;)

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    1. Lisa, thanks so much. I appreciate you visiting and your comments.

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  9. Great post, Janet--I like all your interpretations of this question. My initial reaction was to think of tools, but the more I think about it, I think the top two things I could certainly use are more energy and better knees:) Four burly guys at my beck and call wouldn't be bad either.

    I saw those Byzantine glads on someone else's post a year or two ago and planted some myself last year. They really are lovely!

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    1. Rose, thanks! More energy would be good. I would add cooler temps while I am working out in the summer heat.
      Aren't these Byzantine glads pretty?

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  10. Hi Janet,

    This is very thought provoking! As I was reading through the post, I kept wondering in the back of my mind how I would answer.

    I think for me there is a big difference in what I would answer depending on whether the question is 5 things every garden needs verses 5 things every gardener needs.

    Good, amended soil would be high on my list of things every garden needs. It is game over if you do not have good soil as one of your garden's building blocks.Good bones would be another. A good basic layout is surely an essential.

    When it comes to 5 things every gardener needs, I would list qualities like determination, imagination and creativity.

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    1. Jennifer, Glad it was thought provoking. It does vary between garden needs and gardener needs. Like your added qualities!

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  11. This is such a fun post. I would love to have the money to amend my whole yard. LOL! Clay be gone. So the bucks are handy to have. A stronger back too. I think to that we should make it in our own style that makes us happy and what we like so it is enjoyed and not just a job.
    Your columbines are looking pretty girl. I am in envoy of your beautiful clematis blooms. Finally I have seen one that is a real red. Gorgeous!

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    1. Lona, thanks, it was fun to put together. clay-be-gone...a product we could market to most of us! thanks so much for these columbines!

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  12. Fun post but I don't think I can be limited to five things. It all depends on the day, the weather, etc. Some days it's five tools, other days it's five minutes.

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    1. Joene, limiting it to five is hard...though I change my five all the time!

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  13. Holy Toledo! That's a gorgeous Clematis!!

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    1. Darla, it is a great Clematis, it is part of the family garden.

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  14. Love that thistle color! My five, good grief, you're right, they would change on a daily basis. I think more time would be at the top; time to work in my garden and time to enjoy my garden.

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    1. Kim and Victoria, isn't this thistle pretty? More time is a good one.

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  15. Eyes
    Ears
    Nose
    Strong hands & knees
    *A good sense of humor

    (* denotes the only absolutely necessary ingredient)

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  16. Camellias
    Hydrangeas
    well-amended soil
    regular rainfall
    time

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  17. Hi Janet!
    Still can't whittle my list down but I did want to THANK YOU for the JMU zinnia seeds!! They arrived today with your beautiful photo card and made my day. Thanks SO much. I had totally forgotten about them but now I'm very excited to get them started. You're the best!!!

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    1. Kathleen, you are welcome! I still need to get mine in the ground! Enjoy!

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  18. Fragrance, color, good foliage, a place to sit, and good texture (I like to touch plants). I saw Clematis 'Rebecca' at a garden center last year & nearly bought it. The color is just stunning. I'm glad it's a good doer for you. I might have to get it this year.

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    1. Mr. McGregor's Daughter,
      I like to stroke the rosemary and Russian Sage and lavender. Clematis 'Rebecca' is part of my family garden, and I am very happy to have it.

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  19. What a great, thought-provoking post! My five right now would probably be:
    ~ Time to work in our garden--not just work for my garden business. Spring is tough for me, because I love this season so much and am too consumed with the nursery to enjoy our own gardens.
    ~ A truck. My minivan, rest-its-metal-soul, was a fantastic hauler of all things for our many projects. I traded it in a little too soon for my new Prius...and we still have a few projects to finish that require something substantial to haul materials. Hmmm.
    ~ Better knees. Really, where did my youth go?
    ~ Patience.
    ~ Water. I'm worried about our summer and the drought already...

    Great post, as always, Janet!

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    1. Julie, we all could use more time. You have been really busy this spring. Is this par for the course? Did you find a truck for your hauling needs? I can't live without ours.

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  20. So many choices to make but I couldn't imagine gardening without rain, mulch, patience, the proper tools and energy. :)

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    1. Racquel, good choices. We could really use the rain. More energy would be nice as well.

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