If you didn’t get a chance to guest rant, remember that we
continue to offer guest rants on Thursday. Here’s one by Lisa Ueda. Lisa offers
home gardening tips at The Frugal Garden.
The bubble really has burst. The economy isn’t recovering
any faster, and Obama continues to be blamed for what he has or hasn’t done.
While we’re learning to live without, gardeners are looking for different ways
to garden on a budget. To save everyone years of misery, I’m compelled to
uncover the top five lies people like telling about gardening with less. (4 of them are lies anyway.)
1. You shouldn’t spend money on plants.
If you fall prey to this lie, you’re dooming yourself to an
endless procession of ditch lilies, irises, and cast offs prevalent in most
plant swaps, or the ratty half dead things on discount at Wal-Mart. You might
score big time, but you also might just get stuck with the exact same stuff you’d
love to get rid of. You can judge me for the Japanese maple I dropped $50 on
that didn’t make it thru its first winter. Only the top graft died off. Where
it suckers at the base, I think it’s cute and looks more charming than a bunch
of boring freebies.
2. You should compost everything, and you’re not a dedicated
gardener if you don’t.
Compost is good; compost with dog poo is bad. If you’re
a militant composter and this is your M.O., that’s great, fine, you’re right,
they’re wrong. Just don’t include it on your list of facebook likes.
3. You should only garden with native or “heirloom” plants.
They can be cheaper, but why the heck should you be stuck
with someone else’s garden vision? Hybrids can be more disease resistant, or
may tout a unique fragrance or leaf form. Just do your homework first. See if
you can find it in a friend’s garden to get an idea of how it will do in your
own. Hybrid does not equal evil so say goodbye to your grandma’s flowers if
they really don’t work for you.
4. Never, ever, EVER garden with invasives.
Well, OK, you may regret the day you
plunked that “slightly aggressive” plant your friend palmed off on you into
your own garden. Just say no, or make sure your barricade method can withstand its
insinuating ways. I plan on digging out my Gooseneck Loosestrife until the day
I die, or sell my house.
5. If it isn’t broke don’t fix it.
So what if the boring bed you inherited with your house does
so well—if it’s boring why settle? Dig it up, lug that stuff to your nearest
swap, see if you can score any great finds and start over. Pretend you’re
purging your closet. If you just really hate it, get rid of it; it won’t look
any better next year.
Stay tuned today for one more from Ginny Stibolt.