I’m a ten minute gardener. By which I mean that I’ll go and potter in the garden for ten minutes at a time but except for rare occasions that is it. I’m a minimalist. I only dig up weeds if they’re threatening to take over or if they are not pretty. Otherwise they can stay. For me the garden is to be enjoyed rather than dug over.
I also learnt my gardening skills from my grandmother who advocated the chuck it in and see if it grows policy. If it didn’t work you didn’t try that plant again. Having said this my grandmother lived almost exclusively off her home grown fruit and vegetables so this only really applied to flowers. My mother used to carry a used envelope in her handbag so she could collect seeds from any flowers she saw that she liked.
My garden suffers from lots of shade, mostly from an attractive neighbouring walnut tree. It also suffers from a multitude of squirrels who take great pleasure in digging up empty walnut shells on the off chance they may still have some nut left in them and by burying them all in the first place. They also then dig in random place just in case there’s some food left they can’t smell. We get lots of peanut shells as one of the neighbours puts them out for the birds, for which the squirrels are very grateful. Bulbs have to be planted over a foot deep otherwise the squirrels dig up them up and try eating them. So I don’t plant bulbs.
When I first moved here I planted half a dozen bushes in the hope they would be football resistant, lack of care resistant and shade and squirrel resistant. They are now well established. The rest of the plants are either ones that were already here, gifts or acquisitions from school fairs. I can tell you where they came from without having a clue what they’re called or how you look after them.
It is therefore with some trepidation that having recently acquired a new flower bed I decided to order a good selection of flowers in the hope that some may survive my inexpert minimalist care.
If half of these plugs make it through to the summer, let alone flower, I will be very impressed.
I have ordered some other bits and bobs which I won’t bore you with but if they all came up we’d have a total riot of colour.