How many of you like to garden?

lavender_lassJuly 19, 2010

I have a theory. Smaller homes equal less housework, which means more time for gardening! :)

Does anyone else like to garden? I love cottage gardens (big surprise LOL) especially old fashioned roses with daisies, coneflowers, cosmos, lavender, salvias and stock. Also like butterfly bushes, lilacs, peonies and blueberry bushes in the garden. May not be for everyone, but blueberries between the roses and the back yard, seem to keep the deer least for now!

My other favorite annual combinations are zinnias, sunflowers and marigolds in the veggie garden and star jasmine and white petunias by the porch. Star jasmine is an annual here (and doesn't usually get very big) but I love it with the petunias...very pretty :)

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I DO! It was one of the reasons I picked our house. Small house = more time. Ugly Blank slate = more gardening opportunities

There wasn't a single flower on our property when we purchased it. Now, I'm out of space for flowers. LOVE the ones you listed...and so many more.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 3:51PM
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Absolutely love to garden! My first love is the antique roses...the old teas, chinas and noisettes. I also love camellias, particularly the vintage ones as well.

I love Florida native plants, trees, and wildflowers. And we can't go wrong with nut and fruit trees.

I have a blank slate on this property and am starting to RoundUp an area (with VERY stubborn bahia pasture grass) to put some of my roses in. As the house build gets started and progresses, I can plan more areas. It'll be slow going to build gardens for a while. At least until my house is built.

Lavender lass, I'm keeping your deer strategy in mind! I think that is what critter is biting my drip irrigation tubes off that are in my potted roses. It's a perfect 45 degree angle bite.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 4:30PM
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I love to garden, but have found FL to be frustrating. Our soil is alkaline sand, so not much will grow well without a lot of work, and whatever you add to the soil leaches out quickly. My pride and joy is our 15' water garden, which does very well on it's own. We've gradually found the things that do well here without a lot of fuss, and let them take over.

I used to grow a lot of vegetables in CT, but again, it seems hard to grow them here. It's either too hot in the summer, or too cold in the winter. A few things that do grow well here are citrus and bananas.

I really miss the good old fashioned shrubs and perennials from up north- lilacs, mock orange, spirea, iris, peonies, spring bulbs. When we get our place done in SC, we'll be in a 7b climate, so I can grow just about everything but lilacs. With the shade of our woods, I sense a hosta collection in my future!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 4:44PM
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oh, I miss lilacs and peonies! I used to garden - back in the 70's and early 80's, but now with my back so bad I can't do much. next yr I do plan on getting an elevated garden box for a few veggies. that way I won't have to bend down or kneel down to take care of them.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 7:09PM
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Another gardener here!

I agree - would much rather spend precious spare time in the garden than the house.
Lots of peonies, roses, lilacs, iris, lilies in the front yard - I think a cottagey garden style.

As our season(zone 3 or 4) is rather short, this is our favourite spot in the garden - covered deck that is covered in virginia creeper. Makes it private, cool on the hot summer days and an oasis for entertaining or just enjoying. Have to cut it back a few times every year but I don't mind doing that.
This is a view from the outside....

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 7:58PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

LOL, lavender_lass, this pic from my 'Flowers V' album was made to order!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 9:33PM
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Love it and couldn't be without a yard to grow something in. I envy those of you with quick growth of vines, etc. Am in CO and we are basically desert. It takes forever to grow something to full size. Or we need more water and the cost is a factor. I am xeriscape in the front of my home, took out half the lawn to do this.

Grow whatever is happy rather than having to baby plantings. But there is plenty of beautiful plants that love thriving here. I love Daisies and they love me this year. Never know what is going to take to the weather, we never know what our weather is going be as it is.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 8:34AM
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I've been wanting to plant berries for a couple years now. How many blueberry bushes would I need if I wanted to pick them for pies and whatnot?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 9:08AM
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LLass sez:"Star jasmine is an annual here (and doesn't usually get very big) but I love it with the petunias...very pretty :) "

Oh dear. You mean you must buy new plants every year? Or does it grow back perennially, from just the roots? What zone are you in?

Star jasmine is one of my favorite evergreen vines here in Mobile. We are zone 8B. It is my choice to cover the new chainlink fence 7' tall which is going to span the 100 foot width of our new back property line. They use it in Italy to great effect everywhere, and that is where I realized its wonderful potential.

Yes, I'm a gardener. I've felt no desire to work outdoors this summer, and thus hired a friend with a lot of plant knowledge to take care of the basics outdoors. He got tired of the stress of his career and packed it in early.

Our new 25 x 100 foot BACK FORTY across the back of our home lot, will be a shaded area mostly, and I can plan on some of my tropical plants hanging from tree branches there. They are all deciduous trees, so in the winter there will be more sunlight. The land had been left to its own devices for so many years that large seedling trees were everywhere between the overgrown azaleas and sasanquas, so I have to tread carefully to avoid the woody spikes ready to poke through my shoe soles. Such an injury could be crippling.

I believe in a lot of perennials, but mostly stuff like cannas, sage, hemerocallis, alocasia, colocasia, bananas, split leaf philodendron, aspidistra, gingers of all sorts, passion vines, roses, hibiscus, mallows, and now bromeliads and tillandsias, oh yes, and staghorn ferns, ficus benjamina, scheffelera, and begonias and geraniums. My aloe vera plants get huge and have hurtful spikes on them, but they send up lip-colored blooms on tall flower heads. And I love ferns, have great luck with asparagus fern even in the heat and sunshine. I want to grow lavender, but it does not seems to do well with our humidity. Then I am very fond of giant leriope, and I have a lot of rosemary which is prospering in the sunny rose bed. Even the Italian cypress are growing like crazy. If I had the space, I'd be a plant collector. Hopefully our derelict old garage will become a nice gardening shed or greenhouse one day, before I get to old to remember what I'm doing.

Good to have you moving into the hood, young-gardener and serendipity-ont. The more the merrier. I think Lavender-Lass's observation about smaller homes making more enthusiastic gardeners is very true.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 11:06AM
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I like to garden, but the older I get, the less I can tolerate the heat here. Last year I decided to rip out just about everything, and put in gardens that would be less work. Then I got sick and the weeds took over. Then this year, my elbow decided to act up and once again I quit work on them. I'm not sure what I'm going to do now. Dh wants to just start mowing and let the grass take over, and I'm almost in agreement even though I would much rather have winding gardens.

My favorite is my pond too. One hard day of work in the spring and one in the fall and the rest of the time, it is fairly maintenance free. Ours is only 4000 gallons and I want to make it bigger (less land for weeds to grow).

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 11:22AM
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I started gardening about 30 years ago, and it is my favorite hobby. Herbs, roses, vines, perennials, annuals, tropicals. My style was cottage before I even knew it was a style. There is the main garden, a couple of shed gardens, a clothesline garden, and various beds and hedgerows. I grow plants in containers too. Summers are miserable down here in s.e. FL so I try to get out early before it gets too miserable out, but sometimes it's like walking into a sauna even when you go out early.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 11:42AM
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I used to love the yard also. My favorite flowers were Dahlias. They are simply gorgeous. But they require lots of attention. I can still remember how anxious I would get when there was a thunderstorm with wind! The branches are so fragile.
My Irises and Daylillies came up but did not bloom.
I also love Zinnias, but mine did not thrive this summer.

When I started having my own 'private summers' the heat became too much to bear. So I've been settling for greenery that can take care of itself and a few container plants.
I think I'm giving up on the grass beneath the tree and plan to plant Pachysandra next spring.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 5:22PM
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I also love to garden and even right this minute it is waiting for my attention which I am heading out to do as the sun has finally gone down. I do not tolerate the heat like I used to be able to and my back is fragile. Still I do as much as I can. Eventually I will have a pretty yard here. Starting new just two years ago feels like it is taking me longer than I had hoped it would.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 10:38PM
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It's great to see so many gardeners...glad I'm not the only one who thinks smaller home means more time for gardening :)

Moccasin- Star jamsine is beautiful, but it is an annual with our zone 4 winters. For the last few years, I buy a couple of small plants at Lowe's and put them in my pots by the porch. One star jasmine and three white petunias in each pot. They're beautiful together and have a lovely fragrance. The hummingbird moths love them, too. It's fun to watch them in the evening.

Young-gardener, this is my second year with blueberries, so I'm not sure how much to expect from each plant. Here, I grow a lot of Chippewa blueberries, since they're hardy to -35 F. I'm sure someone in your area can give you a good idea of what will grow well in your area and how many berries each plant should produce.

This year was my year for roses, so I bought some own-root roses and I'm trying different types to see what does well in my zone. So far, the ones that have really taken off are the damasks, but the Fantin-Latours seem pretty happy, too. The gallicas are pretty small, as are the hybrid musks. The Trier roses are beautiful and are already blooming for the second time. They were babies in May and already had a few flowers...very pretty!

Oh, and Serendipity...I really like your covered deck. It looks like a great place to enjoy your garden.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 10:20PM
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The BACK FORTY is the 25 x 100 foot addition to our property. This week, Hagan Fences fenced it in for us. And I LOVE it!
I have a full album of photos taken and uploaded in a new album at Webshots, if anyone is interested. Album is called
HAGAN FENCES INSTALLATION. The link to my albums is shown below. But here is one of the photos, showing the junction point of the wooden fence down the side property line, and the chain link across the back property line. Both are 7 foot tall.

I was hoping to get over to Laura Kays Nursery today and pick up the 40 star jasmine in gallon-size containers, but it is way too hot for me at this hour. Those plants will be spaced about 24 inches apart along the chainlink, and in about two years they will show their ability to create a green privacy fence. Evergreen in our zone 8B, and smell so so GOOD when they bloom.

Our little dachshund Dixie is recuperating from the loss of several teeth so she is not as active exploring the new hunting preserve. But when it cools down some, and she is off the pain meds, I will turn her loose to have a great time back there. I'm in no rush to take out the old 48" high chain link, it is ugly as sin, but again, I'm not urgent in wanting it out of the way.

Patience is a virtue that I've discovered in my later years.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hagan Fences Installation--Webshots album

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:39PM
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Great pictures ML. I think I would leave the four foot fence in place. Makes a nice yard room out of your new space and invites a person so explore.

I LOVE your yard. I have yard envy of so many here. sigh. I will have our yard looking good some day.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 7:11PM
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Don't count us guys out! I'm zone 8a. Four seasons, but hot and humid after mid May. My preference is "Passalong Plants", cuttings, divisions, seeds, etc. Hydrangeas, hosta, daylillies, crinum, iris, bulbs of all kinds, four o"clocks, moonvine and many, many more. I'm not real big on driving down to the Big Box store and picking up a flat of annuals. Most of my plants have a story behind them, who gave them to me, where I salvaged them, etc. Steve Bender and Felder Rushing (Southern Living fame) put out a book a few years ago championing this method.

Both my grandparents were farmers so I have that ingrained urge to grow veggies too. Oh, and I cook so of course there is an herb garden.

I have a farily large lot (for a suburban setting) but wild blackberries are agressive here so the more beds you have the more weeding and maintanence you have to do. Mowing is actually easier so I limit my bed space.

Did I meniton the heat and humidity? You have to have all the heavy lifitng finished by early May and go on a maintanence only program through late September.

But, between work, kids, house work, bill paying, occassional dating, and all those other life things, gardening usually takes a back seat.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 9:47PM
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Oh yeah! Gardening is my obsession and passion.

I think I was on GardenWeb for about 5 years before I discovered this Home side of the site.

I agree that smaller homes/less cleaning equals more gardening time!!!!

If you want to check out my blog, I have a lot of gardening posts. I had 2 extremes at this house when I bought it....Some areas were overgrown & abandoned, the rest were blank slates crying for planting beds. I'm just plugging along & making it my own over time.

Link is below if you're interested. Go to the TAGS and select the "Gardening" and "Exterior Home Projects" to sort out the junk you don't want to read.

Also, lot of pics of my house & interior if you want to explore more.

Here is a link that might be useful: my blog...

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 7:13AM
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Scott, I think the gardening bug infected me as a small child too, because my Grandma bragged on the way her garden grew when I set out her cabbage plants. I was very pleased, and went on from there.

I read the Passalong Plants, and I also have another book by Felder Rushing, TOUGH PLANTS FOR SOUTHERN GARDENS. He has a great sense of humor.

I also get sets and clippings from my friends and neighbors. I have some "Angie hydrangees" dug from the daughter of a friend, quite a few daylilies, some roses, and also, I plant things in memory of my departed relatives and friends. My son's favorite rose seems to bloom late late in the season, on the day he died, and I always walk out there to look for it. I've moved HIS bush, the Don Juan, through several homes, and saved it from Hurricane Katrina, my most treasured plant in the garden.

You are so right about getting your major work done before June starts. Only "mad dogs and Englishmen come out in the noonday sun...." or any kind of sun after about 9am. Thank the Lord, my DH has given me leave to have a regular "yard man." Of course, it is a friend, one who quit his job rather than put up with the corporate stress, and he has a degree in BOTANY, so I trust him totally to take care of my plants. How lucky can I my age working outdoors would kill me. And so I can help him out, a win-win situation, right? The best kind.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 3:24PM
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"the older I get, the less I can tolerate the heat here"

me too. that seems to be the case for many of us... mine might also include my 'sickness' and / or the meds I take also. put 'em all together and it's hard on me!

I've been out there on the new pad of dirt and stone walking my girl dog while looking around and deciding where to plant different trees and bushes to blog out views I don't want to see - those include lights, telephone poles and a few houses. plus a few to block the summer sun on the southwest. that's a ton of trees and bushes.

and I'll also be trying to put them in places so I'll see them from inside sometimes (like kitchen window, patio doors).

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 8:59PM
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Steph, when I worked on boats in the oil field, I was gone for months at a time. While I was home (3 times a year), I'd stand before every window and take a photo of the view out that window. Then while I was gone I'd plan what I wanted the view to become.

I left the long view down the bayou framed by really nice trees. Where I could do nothing else, I put something close that would take the focus off something not pleasing or pretty. I really liked my big tuned wind chimes for that, and some huge container plants, and also used a birdbath.

I know your place would be difficult to install a real water fountain. BUT, I've seen some large birdbaths which are planted with big clumps of cascading grasses, which indeed give the look of GREEN WATER spraying from a fountain. Very nice. It might be worth thinking about?

Do you remember the old song by Gladys Knight?

Just DO it. :)
You go girl.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 6:21PM
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I loooovvvveee gardening. Nobody will ever say of me, "gee, she had such a clean house." LOL! Small or not, I'd rather be playing in the dirt.

1500 sq. ft. cottage (or somewhere around that); 5600 sq. ft. lot (about 1/6 acre) in the urban hills of coastal Northern CA. Minus hardscape, about 2100 sq. ft. of cottage garden, broken up into 15 or 16 beds. Very water thrifty, evergreen year round.

This slideshow is from late May/early June, when the orange CA poppies and reseeding nasturtiums put on the most colorful show. Alas, they are all gone now, but the lantana, hydrangeas, roses, daylilies, pelargoniums, cannas, ceratostigma, and plectranthus will continue to look good until late November.

Here is a link that might be useful: When I sell my house, it will be during this time of year!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 12:55AM
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Jkom51, I am in awe of the beauty around your entire property. What an amazing job you've done. I spied several of my favorites. And I like the way you let your nasturtiums trail across the walkways, a la Claude Monet. Not a shy color anywhere to be seen. Reds and oranges vibrating together they are so INTENSE... wowza wowza. Love what you do there.

I also noticed another photo of a sheer net covering a bed. Ahhh, my dream was to have one like that. So I built a bamboo frame around my bed and draped the net across it. All was fine for a while, but then one night, something happened....and it fell on I must live down my poor construction skills, which make my DH laugh when he thinks about THAT NIGHT. But I like the bamboo. We have lots and lots of it.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 5:32PM
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OH Jkom your yard is so pretty. Remember seeing a few other pictures. Loved your roses Well I really loved all of it and not a weed in sight.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 1:00AM
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Your yard is beyond beautiful. I suspect it looks good all year round. Would give anything for that type of growth and beauty. Now where is the house?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 7:08AM
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emagineer, our house is in the Oakland hills, about 25 miles from the Pacific ocean. We're just on the edge of the fog belt, so it's warmer than San Francisco but not as hot as further inland over the mountains - IOW, perfect location for average temps around 75 degrees in summer and 65 degrees in winter.

The downside is, it's not really warm enough for things like tomatoes or melons, or cold enough for anything that needs winter chill, like apples or tulips.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 5:57PM
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"I've seen some large birdbaths which are planted with big clumps of cascading grasses, which indeed give the look of GREEN WATER spraying from a fountain. Very nice. It might be worth thinking about?"

moccasin - what a great idea! I have a koala bear fountain I bought yrs ago. never have used it yet. didn't buy it to be a fountain but a planter. I'll have to find something that will flow over the first part onto the 2nd and the 2nd on over it's edge. I plan to keep that up by the house so I can see it all of the time when I sit out with my dogs.

I don't remember that song - was probably our during my country only time span!

gayle0000 =blog - haven't got to your blog yet but I will!

Jkom51 - oh my goodness! for pete's sake! what an abundance of color and beauty you have there! I can't imagine taking care of all of that!

"perfect location for average temps around 75 degrees in summer and 65 degrees in winter"

those are my ideal temps! but no, I'm not moving back to CA!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 1:27AM
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We need a forum for small yards, not just small homes! LOL. My lot is only 37'x97 so it has taken creativity! I love to garden though, it's my one huge passion, so it's worth it!

There was a 25' tall mulberry and 60' norway spruce here already when I moved in last year. I put in a small japanese maple for some vertical interest, a dwarf plum for vertical interest in a perennial garden, 3 amur maples on the side tree lawn, and an oak on the front tree lawn. Plus other assorted bushes and perennials. I also use my deck as a garden...I will have to post some pics!

Often times small yards go with small houses so I'm glad to see so many of you gardening!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 8:46PM
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love your porch and patio serendipity. after animal photos it's all about gardens for me. I usually spend more time on the garden forums then here actually.

I bought my cottage (1100 sq ft approx) because of the garden in back which I've mostly relandscaped! The irony gets to me but I was happy with the garden that came with the house and I'm happier with the changes so it's a win-win to me.

When I renovated my kitchen, I could have put down wood floors but went with porcelain tiles because my back door entry comes into the kitchen and I'm always in the garden. Tiles are much easier to keep clean for me.

Here's 2 views of my garden from the back of the house and the side. It's small but I love it and I mostly love not having grass to cut... just stone paths and garden beds.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 10:31AM
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Buddyrose, I like what you do with your space. I'm a big fan of the New Orleans style courtyard garden concept. When I had the 7 foot privacy fence added around our back yard, it was with the intention of landscaping the inside to look like a courtyard. We have the right climate to do it, and I am slowly working with that goal in mind.

What you have done with your garden is similar to a courtyard style. I guess it also makes outdoor rooms, but I like the term courtyard better. Much more romantic, don't you think? Your plant selection is fantastic too.

Can you tell me what forums you like best on the garden side of GWeb? I'm into the tropicalesque but have been searching for like minded gardeners elsewhere. My Alabama forum is not at south-Alabama oriented as it used to be.
I thought I'd found a good one with the Greenhouses, but they are leaning toward the commercial production side and not ornamental. I am not into Garden Junk as much anymore, don't have the time or patience to turn junk into beauty anymore--except for the rebar arches and trellises maybe.
Anyway, where do you hang out on that side?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 12:10PM
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hi ML, I visit these garden forums: cottage gardens, conifers, pests and diseases most of the time. They seem to have the most threads that interest me. My new favorite plants are conifers. I have 4 new ones and will buy one more this Fall. Here's a photo of my LOVE: a Black Japanese Pine called Thunderhead Pine. It's next to my Zen water fountain.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 9:35PM
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buddyrose - I love your yard and plants!

I couldn't deal with a large piece of land if it had to have grass or be kept up. the desert pretty much takes care of its self. except some branches (twigs really). I only have 3 trees - but that will change this yr as I plant some shade trees and some view blocking ones. Still other than watering the first yr not much will be done to them either. some will need watered once a week in the summer, once a month in the winter.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 12:59AM
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