How Have You Changed as a Gardener over the Years?
Are you just getting started? On the upswing in total garden passion? So over it now - older and wiser?
I always enjoyed it - we had a couple smaller homes and I had some flower gardens, one had a little rock garden, I had a real perennial bed at the 2nd one - I started to enjoy daylilies and I had a lot of columbine there.
Then we built the big house in the country with 150 acres of property - it took us 5 years to really get it under control. I built wide borders all around it backed with shrubs and trellises on the house. I remember when my mom first came over to see the new gardens she was utterly astounded how wide they were. I planted. And planted. And planted. Added more beds, focused on color, got good at seed starting - went thru years where I had dozens and dozens of flats of my seedlings - I really enjoyed learning about the whole art of seed starting and got pretty good at it.
I played with a lot of clematis, roses, peonies, daylilies, true lilies - asiatics, trumpets, orientals, the various hybrids.
Then I really got into the vegetable garden - I had a couple years that it was truly gorgeous with tepee trellises, sunflowers in strategic places, all mulched and beautifully "kept" - I grew and experimented with dozens of heirloom tomatoes, herbs, various lettuce. We planted an orchard with 25 trees, had raspberries, black raspberries, rhubarb, grapes, strawberries. We put in an acre pond, edged it with trees, put in a bunch of ornamental grasses which I never liked in the borders but love around the pond.
And then I took a job transfer and worked back and forth between two places for nearly 7 years. I simply had to let the gardens here go - I was exhausting myself and then I'd leave and come back and they all needed it again. I had a little garden space at the condo I had in my working location - I got tremendous joy out of small but fabulous - it was beautiful there!
So now I'm home and trying to find what makes sense now - first off just getting everything back under control - trying to figure out how to cut back (but honestly that isn't easy unless you really remove beds). I remind myself something that I heard on a gardening show - plant more of what you already have that is beautiful - repetition is lovely in the garden.
We still have tomatoes, peppers, basil, sweet corn, onions, parsley in the vegie garden and this year I put in eggplant, zucchini, and bush beans. It is WAY too big but I am arguing with my husband about making it smaller.
I have 10 containers on my deck instead of 40.
So I am in the mellowing out stage for sure - getting ready to retire in a year or two and I will have more time, but I want it to be sheer pleasure.