Categories
environment gardening hydrangeas Perennials

Picture perfect?

Besides strummin my Martin and plantin a flower or two, I like to take pictures. Most of my subjects are flowers, but I’ll snap a photo of anything in the natural world that catches my eye.

If you like gardening, then I’m sure you’re familiar with growing bachelor buttons. They’re grown as annuals (annuals grow, bloom, and die in one season) here in the northeast, very easy to grow, even for folks who say they can’t grow anything. Bachelor buttons will reseed too, an added bonus of growing these flowers I think.

Bachelor Button
Bachelor Button

Hydrangeas are also relatively easy to grow here in our neck of the woods. They’re perennials and will keep your yard beautiful for years. The one pictured below is a Pee Gee hydrangea, I love how they change colors from soft white to pink towards the end of summer.

Hydrangea
Hydrangea

Weeds can be a gardener’s biggest headache. I used to let them bother me, I’d spray the most potent weed killer I could find on any and all plants that looked like a weed. But around six years ago I started to notice a drop in the number of honeybees in and around the yard and garden. That’s also about the time I started hearing about Colony Collaspe Disorder, I no longer use chemicals to control weeds or bugs (unless it’s a yellow jacket!).

Weed seedheads
Weed seedheads

A  lot of what I see means more to me than it probably does to you, like the photo of that sun dog. In order for it to show up, the sun’s rays have to reflect off of ice crystals in clouds. When I see one I make a wish, because you never know…

Sun dog
Sun dog
Categories
cottage gardens gardening Landscape design Perennials spring summer

Angie has a list, but does she garden?

A close friend of mine sent me a link to an Angie’s list article about what you could have done in the garden for $50, $500, and $5,000. The article says that in some regions of the country you might get a few bags of mulch spread for the first amount (not here); one of the things you might get for $500 is “irrigation troubleshooting, repair services or other miscellaneous landscaping work that takes around eight man hours;” and for $5,000 you can expect a redesigned and landscaped front walkway, or “a complete irrigation system in both the front and back yards, including a new timer, valves, heads and also the installation of 1,000 square feet of sod.” 

Those price quotes were for jobs in California, Texas, and Minnesota. Not a very wide region for comparison, so I decided to contact a few local landscaping companies here in my neck of the woods in western Pennsylvania. One place said they couldn’t offer anything for $50, which doesn’t really surprise me, considering the cost of a tank of gas these days. But $500 would cover the cost of weeding, cleaning and edging flower beds, and some light pruning. For $5,000 you could have a consultation for a new garden design, have it installed with the plants of your choice, and possibly add a water feature. I called three different landscaping companies, all offered the same basic services for those fees, based on what the customer needed to have done in their particular landscape.

I never gave much thought about the cost of gardening. It’s just something I do each spring. I don’t look at the price of a new shovel or plant because I don’t put a price on quality. However, while working as a lawn and garden sales associate at a local box store I discovered that many folks don’t seem to care about quality. And neither did the box store where I worked.  I couldn’t keep selling low quality plants to folks who I knew were on a limited budget, and still have a clear conscious afterwards. That was just too much for me to wrap my head around so I quit.

There are costs involved with most all things we do for recreation. And I expect to pay for quality garden plants, especially perennials, when I need them. But gardening isn’t really about the money, at least not for me. It could never be about that. It would be sacrilegious. Gardening is dirty work, lets keep it that way!

Gardening is dirty work, but the reward is worth it!
Gardening is dirty work, but the reward is worth it!