Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Laissez-faire Isn't French for Lazy Gardener

When Helen visited last week she asked about what kind of gardener I was and I didn't have a concise answer. While posting about the visit I said I had a bit of a laissez faire approach to my garden. I think of it as working WITH Mother Nature instead of trying to grow and manage things that do not do well in my garden. I want less work, not more!

While trying to compose this posting I looked out the door noticing some movement on the deck. At first it was a little Carolina Wren. These little birds are so I got my camera. ready set.....he flew away. Why? Because someone else was also on the deck!!!! Rotten little bugger!

Back to the epistle on being a laissez faire gardener............hand me a BB gun. (I don't have a BB gun).
The deck garden is the main subject of my posting. I have a large side deck 18 feet by 12 feet (?) and the garden is next to the deck along the house. When we built the addition to the house and replaced the old deck, I redid this garden. That was 1999. In 2003 we had Hurricane Isabel flood the area. There have been numerous Nor'easters that bring in high water as well. Here is a photo from before we had the bulkhead replaced. (that is another story unto itself)

This bed is packed full with blooms...and a few weeds. Here it is lush and full with Echinacea purpurea, Rudbeckia ssp., Tradescantia 'Purple Heart', Kalimeris pinnatifida- Japanese Aster, Belamcanda chinensis- Blackberry lily, and two Crape Myrtle- Chickasaw which is a small one and Peppermint Lace.

After the bulkhead was replaced the Purple Heart disappeared...something about having heavy equipment rolling over it...?
Last can see the Blackeyed Susans are taking over...

I won a Bluebird box --currently being used by a House Wren. Not super attractive, but the birds don't mind.

Here is what the garden looks like now...with a reluctant Newton sitting next to it for scale.

The Japanese Asters are always first to bloom and will bloom all season, a really nice white filler in any garden.

Way in the back, against the house there are some Elephant Ears that could stand some attention... along with a myriad of weeds. I am only showing you this for educational purposes... not an area one wants people to see.......
but here you go--
lots of weeds with tiny Elephant Ears.
You may ask why there are so many weeds allowed back there?
Once the garden starts growing in April I do not go in there............

Viva the laissez faire approach!! Does anyone see the snake????


  1. Love your approach as your garden looks great!

  2. Rotten little buggers indeed! And chasing away the birds to boot. You will enjoy the fact that I watched my neighbor's cat a bunny today. She didn't catch it tho...too bad.

    Love all the flowers. the front looks so welcoming.


  3. Janet that rabbit looks at home on your deck girl ! LOL
    We have one that visits discreatly .. and when the great thaw comes in the Spring .. we start clean up .. there are lots of bunny beans here and there (fertilizer ?) haha
    I would rather be relaxed about gardening than try to keep it as a show piece .. nature isn't like that either ? LOL

  4. I think your gardens look great - you have the no dirt showing thing going on which is what I'm working toward. I just love Purple Heart, in fact spent some time snipping and starting new ones yesterday. It's kind of a pain to bring in in the winter here and it gets leggy but it's worth it with that wonderful rich color in the summer!
    I agree with Joy - I would rather be relaxed about gardening than try to keep it as a show piece .. nature isn't like that either - true nature isn't. I'm a lazy gardener - not completely because I choose to but because of my back I take breaks longer than the work time I put in and it makes me so mad! Sometimes I just can't seem to get going and then I'm even madder. Guess I'm not as much a lazy gardener as I am a mad one! LOL Joking, sort of. ;-)

  5. Sounds like a great approach to me!
    Thanks for showing us your weeds. ;-]

    I did see one huge one I had missed during the bloggers garden tour.

  6. thanks Tina, I do like how it looks ---from afar, upclose there are too many plants I would rather not have.
    Princess- thank you ever so much.
    Helen, I really wish the hawk population would increase a bit...those rabbits treat my front yard garden as a salad buffet. (this is the backyard).
    Joy, one would think with three dogs that the rabbit would be intimidated a little!!! ha! I do like the perennials that fill in and give lots of color for the long growing season.
    Linda, I leave my Purple Heart in the ground and if the voles don't eat it, it comes back. I also just pinch off some and poke a hole in the ground and stick it in to propagate.... pretty successfully. You aren't a lazy gardener-- just taking your time.
    Victoria, Happy to share my weeds with you fellow gardeners...we all have them........some more than others!!!

  7. Sounds like a good approach to me Janet! I don't mind a few weeds. I think your garden looks beautiful and your dog is sure cute. Also the bluebird box looks great in that position in your garden. I have one I'm going to put up next year and see what happens. I think we have the possibility of all three bluebirds here (mountain, western & eastern). I'd be happy with any one of them!

  8. oops, i left a comment but I guess it was on the picasa photo sight! I just wanted to say don't worry about the few weeds you have; they can't be seen anyway. The only one who might see them is the snake and he doesn't care anyway! Speaking of which, isn't that an odd shape he's gotten himself twisted into? Funny!

  9. Of course you don't have a BB gun, that's a child's toy. I sure your guns are much more powerful.

  10. Hi Jan, got your message on Picasa too! thanks. The weeds drive me nuts when they are full of seeds ready to spread! Like that snake? He is why I don't pull those weeds in deep foliage!
    Les, hahaha right! Hubby thinks we need a 12 gauge for SC where we have beaver on the property! So what does one do with beaver on your property???

  11. Kathleen, how wonderful to have so many different kinds of bluebirds! Newton was not happy about sitting there-- see how his ears are pinned back? Not happy.

  12. Oh how I envy you the wildlife in your garden - even the snakes. All I get is red spider mite ... :(

  13. How fun to see the garden evolve over the years. I'm sorry for the rabbits in your garden. I'm fighting thrips and rose curculios this year, nasty buggers. I keep reminding myself that we AREN'T in Eden anymore, so I shouldn't be surprised at adversity - but I still feel a bit sorry for myself. At least I don't feel guilty when I squish one, unlike dealing with the cute bunnies.

  14. Hi Sue -- ewww Spider mites can create havoc on your plants as well.
    VW, Hi there, The garden really has evolved over the years. I haven't heard of curculios before... sounds like they are a pain. Bunnies are cute, until they are eating a new plant.

  15. After seeing that snake, I wouldn't go back there either! I think your garden looks great Janet. Mine is looking a bit tired from all this heat & no rain. Hope we get some soon...

  16. Morning Racquel. I know!! Nothing like a snake slithering past while you are standing in hip deep foliage. You are so right---We need rain!!

  17. I know snakes are good for the garden, but boy am I glad they don't show up in mine, or I might never pull weeds again. And if I only had such a small patch of weeds, I'd be doing a happy dance.

  18. Love the shot of the snake climbing the wall. He looks like he's defying gravity, lol.

    Your Susans are magnificent.

  19. Hi Megan, yes having the snake means fewer voles and shrews...just not keen on meeting up with one while hip deep in the garden!

  20. Good morning sweetbay.... sort of like the snake charmer...he got really high up the wall.

  21. Lovely! The rabbit on the deck and the black rat snake are perfect.

  22. Hi Lisa, yes, just a little piece of my wild kingdom (or would that be Queendom?)


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