Gotta Garden

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Coming Full Circle

Some time ago, maybe even a few years, I read an interview/article with Peter Strauss (the actor, Rich Man Poor Man, Miracle Grow products, etc.) in a gardening magazine. Not really surprising, he is an avid gardener. Mr. Strauss talked about the series of phases a gardener goes through...I really wish I could remember them all...but it was something like the first one is where you're just excited about it all, plant things found in the garden know, mostly common things. Then, you move into the I-have-to-have-one-of-everything phase. From there, it's the collector's phase and a disdain for the common plants. Last, you're back to the tried and true, the faithful plants, and the plants which make your heart sing...whether they're common or not.

Okay, now I might have missed a stage or two or not expressed them exactly right, but you get the idea. Before reading this, I hadn't really thought about gardening in stages or the gardener growing through stages. However, as time has passed, I have felt that I have moved through stages, maybe even these stages.

For example, I'm definitely through the I-need-one-of-everything stage. For years, I enjoyed going on my plant expeditions, as I have liked to call them, searching out new plants, different plants, unusual plants, etc. I have a new appreciation for others growing these their gardens, in public gardens, or just on a fortunate garden visit. No longer do I feel the compulsion to source one out for myself and grow it in my own humble test gardens. I'm happy to take a picture of it or even just admire it.

So, where I am I? Between two stages, right now, I think. Still the collector in that I am daylily silly, although I sense the grand collecting in that area is cooling a bit (space, you know, is at a premium...and I'm eager and excited to work with seedlings). I also have a greater appreciation for plants that are easy to please, the workhorses that give and give.

Recently, I dug out four Rose of Sharons (harder than I thought it would be!), three butterfly bushes and two Fairy roses...and that's just to start. The barberries, the nandinas, the rhododendron that started this blog, a lilac, a witch hazel, and two snowball virburnums are also on the hit list. Some to clear space for my daylilies but some just because my infatuation with them has waned.

Fall is here now as I write this, finally finishing it up, and with this change in seasons, I am enjoying the changes in the gardener, too.


Blackswamp_Girl said...

Interesting insights... I think that I'm straddling stage 3 and stage 4, with a dash of "I have to grow edible things that are also pretty" thrown in! :)

Gotta Garden said...

It's a process! Those were the thoughts then and who knows what tomorrow's will be!

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