by Karen E. Rigley
Thumbing through magazines and catalogues I see beautiful gardens and wish I could recreate them at my house. But the reality doesn’t match the dream. In part, because I’m a lazy gardener. Yes, I admit it. L-A-Z-Y.
Shameful, but true. Sometimes, my flower patches boast more weeds and grass than blossoms. Sometimes, there are more fading blooms than rosebuds adorning my rose bushes.
Sometimes, my clematis and honeysuckle vines entwine around the fence and even the peonies instead of the trellis. My herb garden occasionally sprouts a dandelion taller than the sage and lavender. The sad wilt of my pansies, snow-in-summer and creeping phlox reveal when I forget to water. It’s true sometimes my gardening skills look questionable.
It’s not my skill – it’s my will. I truly intend to do better this year. I hear some of you echoing my resolution, so I am not the only lazy gardener here. Good, that makes my confession easier. I love gardening – I do. Except it’s so much work. And takes so much time. Plus I’m not as, ah, nimble as I once was. Knees and ankles tend to protest — rather loudly at times.
Fortunately, I pad my landscape with flowering bushes like Rose of Sharon, flowering almond, forsythia, snowball, mock orange, Potentilla and bridal veil which need little grooming.
Maybe if I had raised beds to help keep out the weeds and grass? Oh, yeah. Not so much. I tried that in a corner of the backyard. I dug down two feet and laid down that black plastic barrier before I built the raised beds. Uh huh. It took about two months for the tentacles of grass and wild morning glory to snake up through. That corner of oriental lilies, trumpet lilies and Liatris (feather flowers) fare no better than the other areas, though it appears a festive corner. Just don’t look too closely. 😉
The crazy thing is that I still get compliments on my flowers. Remarkable fact, yet I know why. Here is a secret I’ll share with my kindred spirits who love gardens more than the gardening: lazy gardeners cheat whenever we can.
Plant tough and spreading perennials like coreopsis, cupid dart, blue flax, daylilies, balloon flowers and Missouri evening primrose that need little attention. Grecian windflower anemones add a delicate touch. You can discover easy-care plants to bloom from early spring until frost. In fact, every flower (except the roses) mentioned in this confession are simple care. Though you must remember some watering and to tame the weeds a bit.
Fellow lazy gardeners rejoice! We can create beauty with minor effort – as long as we cheat.
Now if I can just get that grass out of my flowers – any volunteers?
Dew-kissed wild flowers
songbirds and insects
The geraniums need bedding.
My roses need dead-heading.
The pansies lost a war with weeds.
Sparrows ate my snapdragon seeds
and now they need resowing.
Naturally, the lawn needs mowing.
The hedges need trimming.
How my head is spinning!
A weekend isn’t long enough
to get the gardening done.
I must work through my vacation
instead of playing in the sun.