My boss has a garden full of large, large plants.  I have never had a garden full of large, large plants because, for starters, we never lived anywhere long enough to really get a flower garden going like some English cottage dream.  And I don’t think my parents would have liked that.  I think it would have felt messy to them.

But I’ve been thinking about here, with an acre and a girl who doesn’t like to weed and while there seems like there might be something cool on the surface about having, say, one thousand pansies, I’d really rather have plants that take up some room.  I’m trying to pay special attention to what parts of the yard get what kind of sunlight so that I can figure out where to plant herbs and such.

Of course, we should be unpacking, but we seem to be taking our own sweet time at that.  Maybe if we’re lucky, I’ll do some dishes tonight.


5 thoughts on “Gardens

  1. TheBoyfriend™ prefers the English cottage style garden. I, like your parents, prefer a bit tidier appearance. Unfortunately for me, I hate to garden so he pretty much gets what he wants on the outside (and I pretty much get what I want on the inside).

    One plant that we have that I think has a very cottage feel and grows as if it were a weed is a sweet potato vine. It’s got a pretty deep purple leave and has grown in around our flowers so we have a carpet of deep purple punctuated by bright purple and yellow flowers.

  2. We have a cat mint which has green leaves and tiny purple flowers. If you are looking for something that will get big and not require a lot of maintenance it has worked very well – it is in a spot that has shade in the morning and a lot of sun in the afternoon. It is also in an area of the yard that gets a lot of the water run off which has killed other plants there but it does great. Unlike most of our plants, the rabbits have no interest in it.

    I think it is four or five times bigger than when we bought it two years ago and we have done nothing for it. This includes not watering it when we had a mini-drought. This thing will take up some room! It does have the English cottage overgrown feel to it, looks really cool, and we have done next to nothing for it.

    We have wild day lillies from someone’s farm that have done the same thing. I think they’ve set up their own civilization on the side of the house, so those work well too. If you can find some of those, the only maintenance seems to be removing them to give to unsuspecting friends when they overrun other plants.

    So those work well if you want ideas! I think I need a swee potato vine now – that sounds really pretty.

  3. Violets cover a lot of ground if you let them. And there are a bunch of flowering sedges, too. They look especially impressive on slopes and terraces (don’t know whether you have any of those).

  4. Four things:
    Watch the land and sun for a whole year before you make a big investment in plants. Also check low spots in the yard (standing water).
    Old fashioned cottage plants: lilacs, forsythia, day lillies, sweet peas, poppies, dame’s rocket. Trouble free and they spread. You get color in succession, too.
    Think edible landscape. Nothing is more enjoyable than going out and finding bounty. My strawberries have required nothing, and bear heavily. Cherries do well without much fuss (unlike peaches). But think about native bushes and trees: hazelnuts, hickory, etc.
    Native plants. Your local extension will have information.

    An acre is a lot of land for gardening!

  5. Salvias, all kinds. They come in so many colours, flower prolifically and spread well, they are quite tall too and bees love them. And, as an added bonus, they are a form of sage.

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