Do you ever do this?

mehearty(So ME z5a)May 22, 2011

Hi =) I've been following your board for a while. Would it be OK if I joined you? I absolutely love the pics and have gotten quite inspired from them.

I always thought of myself as a "classic" gardener, and then I asked my husband if he liked my beds. He said they'd be nice if there weren't so many flowers squished in and overflowing. I think that means I'm leaning cottage style. Woo hoo!

Back to my question: Do you ever start a bunch of new beds while ignoring some of your established beds? While I'm not ignoring all of them, there are 2 that were once beautiful and somehow got away from me. I should be out there fixing them back to their original glory, but instead I'm starting new beds out back. I read a quote here recently that went something like, "Starting a new garden is more exciting than having a garden." That made a lot of sense to me. =)

And another thing ... when you plan a new bed (or redo an established one), do you find yourself turning things over in your mind constantly? I swear for the past few nights, I keep waking up in the middle of the night thinking, "Get a paniculata tomorrow! Move those dianthus to a new bed! Impatiens! Get more ASAP!" It's like a possession. lol

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Welcome to this great forum, I also just found it and Love it! I am new to gardening, about 7yrs now, but it is such an obsession! I have a 1/2 acre and it is only 1/2 full so far, I seem to be redoing everything and making new beds, I've been living here 6yrs and seem to be redoing every square inch of the yard! I realized a lot of the previous ownwers plantings were not in ideal spots, so that started the whole ball rolling, then I realized I don't have a "style" just hodge podge(maybe that is a style?lol!)so started looking at gardens I liked and figured out I like Cottage gardening, so here I am, on the best, most inspiring forum possible!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 9:38AM
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mehearty(So ME z5a)

Thank you for the welcome Calamity J! Yes, this is an inspiring forum, isn't it? I've noticed the people here are like their gardens: warm, inviting and busy yet relaxed.

We built our house, so the property was pretty much an empty slate. I thought a more formal style would be appropriate for the house, but throughout the years, nature itself has decided my beds need to be more informal. We've got birds dropping seeds anywhere they want, plants growing much differently than they were suppose to, and me who gets excited about new plants and squishes them in anywhere there's a patch of earth.

I just started a new bed this morning (isn't lasagne gardening the best??) and then went around moving established perennials. I didn't even remember I had heuchera until I transplated it thinking it was biokovo. I happened to find the plastic marker under the mulch. ooops.

Thanks again for the welcome, and happy digging!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 11:36AM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Welcome mehearty! Your garden(s) sound wonderful! Your next task, should you decide to accept it, is to post pics!

Yes, love lasagna gardening.

yes, love to start new beds-have more than a few unfinished and the entire back yard is now a mess after four years of our adopted Galloping Gardeners trampling everything, digging everywhere, and generally causing mayhem throughout the yard. Parts look like a dog park with little more than compacted dirt and weeds seem to be taking over everywhere else since I have given up. Oh well.

Even though I am not really a cottage gardener (too much shade for most flowers, but I try), I LOVE the people and gardens here so much! You have certainly come to the right place.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:33PM
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Welcome Mehearty and Calamity to a great forum - you will both love it here. Don't be afraid at all to ask questions and more importantly ADD your own experiences and ideas.

Mehearty to answer your question about neglecting established beds - the answer is yes for me although I am trying to break myself of the habit. For seven years I had my mother living with me and while she was mobile I concentrated on the front yard because her sitting room faced the front yard. She and my grandmother are my alltime garden inspirations. When she became bedridden the last 2 years of her life the attention switched to the backyard because her bedroom window faced that way. We even situated her bed in the room to take the most advantage of the back yard and planted the gardens accordingly. Naturally the front yard took a back seat and was very neglected. She has been gone a little over a year now and we are trying to reclaim the front yard but still maintain the backyard. It is a challenge because when I get focused I tend to forget other areas.

As for planning or daydreaming - I am always doing that. Everyday I find myself sitting in my favorite lawn chair and just stare out over the gardens and envision 'new' plant combinations - many which come directly from this forum or the various blogs that I follow or garden magazines that are always within arms reach

Both of you sound like perfect 'cottage gardeners' - again welcome :) oh and we DO LOVE PICTURES .....


    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:48PM
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Welcome Mehearty (and Calamity J, I've already corresponded with you so you know your are welcome).

To answer you, Mehearty, oh are on a mission when you start a new bed. Of course you need these new beds, and you will get back to the others in time. That is exactly what I do, so welcome again.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 1:15PM
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Cher(6 SW OH)

Welcome. You're in the right place. I have to say this is the friendliest bunch of people here.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 1:17PM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

Yes, unfortunately I do this. But partly due to circumstances not of my choosing. Right now, all my old beds are being ignored because getting our septic replaced meant an opportunity to replace a lot of lawn with a garden. But if I don't get that area done in a timely manner, DH will return it to lawn. So, once that is done, I will go back to the old beds. Quite frankly, some needed to be totally redone anyway.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 2:14PM
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cziga(Zone 5 -Toronto)

I feel the same way ... when I'm getting started on a new bed or project, it tends to occupy my resting thoughts. When cooking, doing chores or even as I'm about to fall asleep I will be turning things over in my mind as well. Planning the shape, plants I want, changes that need to be done, etc. I love all the planning that changes can bring :)

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 2:24PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Hi Mehardy, welcome!
I had been ignoring my "back 40" because we need major work done in the back yard. Tons of trees have taken over, some are LARGE. I've been back there in full armor (lots of poison ivy in there) having to cut everything to the quick, throwin weed killer on the stumps...I'm buying a gas weed wacker so that I don't have to worry about it again. I'll wack those seedlings down and not ignore any more!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 3:03PM
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mehearty(So ME z5a)

Thank you so much ladies! Lynne, I'm very sorry about your mom. You raised a point that I am addressing in my new beds now. For years I worked the front beds which looked pretty decent from the road. But I have yet to look out at a garden from the inside of my house. That along with the drizzly spring has got me digging the back yard.

Mytime, have to steal lawn from my dh all the time. He get's annoyed when he realizes he's lost more grass, but who needs all that mowing anyway?

My son's on the desktop right now, so I can't get at my thousands of garden pics (you ladies are lucky! lol), but I had a few stashed online. If you're interested ...

This was the dining room bed in its early stages. It's gotten a bit overgrown now, so I've been digging things up this spring. It won't get overhauled completely until next year ..

Dianthus planted by birds ...

Loved this lamp post garden as much was planted from seed. The rose was a sickly $5 plant nursed back to life. Clems behind the rose were too tiny at this point.

One of the beds I'm ignoring (front and back) ...

It was pretty for a few years, but the JBs have taken a huge toll on the roses, and hubby's lawn is threatenig to overtake the whole thing.

Entrance. I started getting fancy and photographing at dusk.

2nd year clems (Bluestone plants take off very well!). Last year (3rd year), they were insane. I have no idea what this year will bring. =-O

Finally, the little bed I made this am. The Blushing Bride Hydrangea was a Mother's Day present, so I had to give it a new bed.

Thank you for looking, and thank you again for the warm welcome.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 4:56PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Welcome!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden with us! Are those your Knockouts in front of your house? They really are beautiful. What is the tree in your new bed? Did you plant it new, or build the bed around it?

I tend to ignore areas when I think they're "done" and "all set". Then I realize after a couple seasons that they really do need a little maintenance once in a while. By that point they usually require a lot of maintenance to get back to spiffy. Only to be ingnored once again!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 6:32PM
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Welcome to the forum, it's a great place to find kindred souls! Your garden is lovely!

Do you ever start a bunch of new beds while ignoring some of your established beds?

Oh, yes, definitely! In the preceding 2-3 years we made 7 large new beds so I am now completely overwhelmed with the weeding and this quote has become very meaningful to me!

"I appreciate the misunderstanding I have had with Nature over my perennial border. I think it is a flower garden; she thinks it is a meadow lacking grass, and tries to correct the error." ~Sara Stein, My Weeds, 1988

This year I am very busy weeding, and laying down cardboard/newspaper and mulch and hope to cover all the beds eventually this year.

I think many gardeners can easily become obsessed with gardening, thinking about gardening, talking about gardening, posting on gardening forums, shopping for plants and gardening stuff, planning their gardens, reading about gardening, creating new garden beds, creating gardening decorative accessories, sharing plants with other gardeners, making compost for their gardens, dreaming about gardening, and enjoying their gardens! Did I miss anything? LOL It's a great hobby, or obsession.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 7:14PM
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mehearty(So ME z5a)

Thank you Thyme! The KOs are in the first bed with the Rose of Sharon Tree Form. I started a bed there and plunked the ROS there. It inspired me to build a bigger bed around it. The KOs are double KOs. I'm not a fan of the singles.

The other roses are Meilland, Easy Elegance (by far the cleanest and best performer) and Ramblin' Red is on the fence (along with Henry Kelsey which I would never recommend). I've stopped planting roses because of the JBs. The KOs are not their favorites, so that makes them much more desirable. Do you get JBs?

I'm sitting here planning some more beds while ignoring the troubled ones. Maybe I'll deal with them in the fall.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 7:18PM
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mehearty(So ME z5a)

Thank you Luckygal! I love that quote!

I use to do cardboard in the beds (now just foundation for new ones) and then one season we had little rain. What little drizzle we did get didn't penetrate the cardboard, and the plants started to suffer. I now do newspaper in the beds hoping that water will seep through better.

Happy weeding! Pull a few for me please? =)

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 7:22PM
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oceanna(7 WWA)

Welcome, Mehearty! What a pretty yard you have! I'm enjoying all your pictures and yes always please post more. Yes this board is so inspirational, and the people here are just wonderfully helpful and fun. I live for the pictures!

To answer your question, yes, especially after winter months have made me less active, but the weeds have kept right on growing. It's not so much that I'm starting new beds (though I'm contemplating it), but that it takes a few weeks to get caught up on everything. A lot of it is in using good weed control methods, like newspaper and/or mulch, of course. Plus, in spring we're extra busy planting. I don't know about you, but there's a part of me that begins to crave flowers every spring, and when I walk into a nursery, it shouts at me, "I want them ALL!"

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 7:49PM
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