Friday, 18 February 2011

Crocus (18 FEB 2011)

Last spring I saw drifts of crocuses amongst grass left to grow long at the edge of a local park. I fancied recreating the scene in my own garden, so in November I stood on the lawn, threw two handfuls of clothes pegs in the air and planted bulbs where they fell. This is the first crocus bloom which battled with the weeds  to make an appearance.

In fact, my entire approach to gardening is fanciful and I wouldn't wish it any other way .....


If I was relying on my plants to feed my family, would I chuckle to myself when I discover yet another broccoli decimated by my garden friends - leaving me just one and a half nice ones ?  The hellebores sheltering slugs and snails would have to be dug up and the broken birdbath which welcomes pigeons into my garden replaced by a scarecrow.  

I never intended to be an organic gardener, I'm afraid there isn't a strong conviction underlying this decision. It's simply that I personally don't take medicines unless I'm forced to and I apply the same principle to introducing chemicals to my garden. However,  if I entered vegetable-growing competitions as a hobby, would I maintain an organic regime if it meant sacrificing the opportunity to grow perfect specimens required to win a gold medal and all the prestige that goes with it ? 

Confucius said : “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
 .... but if I gave up my office job to pursue my new passion and breed plants in the fresh air as a 9-to-5 occupation, would my enthusiasm keep me buoyant if profits were low and my mortgage payments pending ?  Isn't there something to be said for keeping business & pleasure well separated ?


If I had a display garden, would my random colour schemes and carefree attitude to garden planning create a spectacle fit for public viewing ?  I don't think the "I'm going to plant it here because I want to" strategy would work somehow. Even if I was just keeping up with the Joness, would it be worth my while to research my weeds as closely as my other garden plants, when I could be persevering with the never-ending task of deweeding my patios ?

It would be true to say that my gardening lacks substance, but the resulting pleasure, peace of mind, connection with higher (& lower) forces has had such a profound effect on me, how I deal with problems, the way I view the world and the future, and my relationships. Before I used to be concerned about what people thought of how I looked or the way I dressed, but I don't care any more because my garden is beautiful (even if it is mostly bare soil at the moment). I used to wonder when others would accept me for what I am, but these days it seems easier to convince them to understand my point of view - and that's substantial.

For more Blooming Friday  Fanciful  posts  visit  Roses and Stuff

28 comments:

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

I like your approach and philosophical perspective. I too care little of what others think. Last year I removed a large section of grass in my front yard to plant with wildly growing perennials, not a popular decision in my neighborhood. I got accused of attracting rats! And you can bet I just ignored the person. What else can you do. I am a designer and I know it will look good in a year or two.

Katarina said...

I love the quote of Confucius, but on the other hand, it's best to keep business and pleasures apart. At least for me. I need the variety.
I'm delighted to see some Crucuses appearing in England- it means Spring here as well...sooner or later!
Have a lovely weekend!

fer said...

So cool to see the crocus blooming! I have some crocus sprouting too. But i think is to soon to see it bloom

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

I have this discussion with my customers all the time. People get all stressed out about their garden, about doing it right or making it look exactly the way they imagine it. I try and get them to refocus on the fact that gardening is supposed to be fun and if it isn't something is wrong. On the other hand, I have done exactly what Confucius said and never looked back.

Donna said...

fabulous approach and philosophy...you can only be content as a gardener if you follow your heart and grow what you want, how you want...I too love crocuses in the grass and started a couple of small patches...we shall see what comes up in about a month...keep living your life and I shall follow your garden as it unfolds beautifully

p3chandan said...

That was a new way of placing your new seeds or bulbs by throwing the clothes pegs to see where they fell! A new approach in planting? :) But a small garden like mine, everything got to be planned..

b-a-g said...

Donna (GWGT) - I look forward to seeing photos of your perennials next year.

Katarina - I couldn't think what to blog about this week, so I took inspiration from other blogs I had read and used your suggestion of "fanciful" as a theme.

Fer - It's amazing how quickly the bulbs grow. I had to net as many bulbs as I could - within a week the bulbs grew out of the soil and through the netting.

Carolyn - That's why I linked to your post. You manage to run a nursery and care about the environment without compromise - my idea of the dream job.

Donna - As you described in your post Essence, gardening has become part of my essence also.

p3chandan - Clothes pegs are useful markers when planting bulbs, because they are bright so you can stand back and visualise how it is going look.

HolleyGarden said...

Interesting about using clothes pegs to figure out where to plant bulbs. That seems like a great idea. I usually just thrown them, and where they land, that's where they get planted.

Ginny said...

I love that crocus that one the battle with the weeds! And your method of deciding where to plant them was a great idea.

b-a-g said...

HolleyGarden - You have a more direct method !

Ginny - I think you'll enjoy Edith Hope's post about flowers in the lawn - I linked to it using those words.

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

B-a-g, Sorry, my comment was sort of redundant. I didn't realize that those were links. I really appreciate your linking to my post. There is something to be said for keeping business and pleasure separate because I rarely have time in the spring to actually garden my garden. Carolyn

b-a-g said...

Carolyn - I see what you mean. I'll list links to other blogs at the bottom of posts in future.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

The very first bloom is always special! And I liked the way you used to chose your crocuses' location!

Orchid de dangau said...

The crocus looks so beautiful. Wish to have it in my garden. Keeping business and pleasure well separated...sound not so good for me.

Alistair said...

Hi b-a-g
Thoroughly enjoyable read. I like your philosophical approach to life.In my working life I earned enough to provide a good living for my family which meant that my wife did not have to go out to work, this helped to give security and stability for our children, having mother at home.The work which I did was not particularly something which I enjoyed. I really wanted to make my living as a gardener, but as you suggest I think it would have been a big mistake for various reasons. I have been gardening for such a long time, the style which I use has been totally different from one decade to the next. Even what we do now can change considerably within a couple of years, all I can say is I love gardening and can see good in them all. Crocus is just showing colour here also, fantastic!

lifeshighway said...

I'm liking this approach to gardening. In fact, I may throw, say spoons up in the air and where they fall I'll plant a day lily. I mean, I love and the deer eat them anyway so why not have fun with my deer food.

b-a-g said...

Welcome Tatyana ! - When I wrote this post I certainly didn't predict that people would connect with the clothes pegs.

Orchid - So you work with orchids, it's not just a hobby. Now I'm really jealous.

Hi Alistair - Did you notice my cheeky blue link to your Fashionable post ?

Lifeshighway - I knew I could rely on you to add a new dimension !

Andrea said...

That's great, maybe great philosophy comes with confidence, and with age. As long as it pleases the doer, who will have the courage to disagree! The photo is lovely composed too. But i laughed at the manner you chose your planting hills, you did it scientifically, as in using the random numbers, haha!

Esther Montgomery said...

I find this an encouraging post. There's a big difference between a garden where we follow our heart and whims . . . and a public space. A public space might include a private garden that the owner will, at some time, invite strangers to see. So there's no reason why you shouldn't have both. (Not sure about chemicals in one but not in the other though. That seems a bit daft.)

My garden is an 'I do what I like in it sort of place' but I can imagine I would be quite rigorous if I had a market garden or something like that. (I would never be any good at the flowers in borders kind.)

What I feel very insistent about (though it isn't a popular point of view)is that neighbours have no right to have any say about what I put in my garden, nor how I tend it, front or back.

Esther Montgomery

Karin / Southern Meadows said...

Your approach to gardening (and life) is an excellent one that comes with experience. I would have balked at this 20+ years ago but fully embrace it as a more mature and knowledgeable adult. Your crocus is lovely!

b-a-g said...

Hi Esther ,
I've seen photos of your garden in your blog and it has so much in common with mine. The plants between the paving stones were a familiar site and made me smile. I don't use chemicals at all, I deweed my patios with a knife on my hands and knees. It takes a long time to do, and by the time I've finished, there are weeds growing again where I started.

Andrea & Karin ,
I thought it was my garden that was changing my life ... but maybe it's just the onset of old age !

Nat said...

This is a great piece of writing, thoughtful and well written. It's interesting what motivates us.
Keep doing what your doing, it seems to work well!

easygardener said...

I enjoyed your post. The most interesting gardens are often those which incorporate the idiosyncrasies of the gardener. I also liked your clothes pegs idea - looking outside they could have been used to plant my garden borders :-)

One said...

I enjoy your post because I have very similar thoughts. I am not a person with many words and would not be able to articulate as well as you did. Thanks for posting my thoughts... :)

b-a-g said...

Thanks for the encouraging words Nat, I look forward to seeing how your interests in art and gardening combine.

Hi easygardener - I found your blog a few weeks ago via google when I was looking up "photos of hellebores". The leaves of yours looked almost identical to mine.

One - I still remember the beautiful pictures in your chrysanthemum post, but even more for the words that you wrote. http://onenezz.blogspot.com/2011/02/meaning-of-chrysanthemum.html

Autumn Belle said...

I share the same thoughts too. I like fanciful and carefree gardening. That's why I have a DIY garden.

PatioPatch said...

What a refreshing approach to gardening and blogging. This post lifted the gloom I've recently felt with my own attempts. The clothes peg Zen approach amused me and must result in a more natural haphazard planting instead of garden park blocks.
Laura
p.s. London's Wood pigeons love my crocus flowers so much that they rarely leave me any

b-a-g said...

Autumn Belle - People who have gardeners are missing so much fun. Having said that, I wouldn't mind if someone else scraped out the weeds from my patio - I've lost count of all the worms I've dissected in the process.

Laura - I remember your gloomy (but excellent-as usual) post : http://patiopatch.co.uk/2011/02/some-days-must-be-dark-and-dreary/. For every "failure" I've had in the garden, I have also had a surprise success - so I win in the end, just not the way I planned. I'm sure the same is true for you too.

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