My Garden – The Craft of Plants

A picture from today’s weeding in progress. Landscaping rock is TERRIBLE to work with.

At long last, the weather has gotten warm enough in my neck of the woods to allow for some gardening. I tend to look at it as a craft, because when you design your own landscaping, you take textures, patterns and colors into account in the exact same way as when you’re knitting something, putting a necklace together or plotting a sewing project. The plants give it a dynamic, living note that few other things offer, plus you can use some of them in other projects, like dream pillows.

Now, I’m relatively new to actually maintaining my own garden, since up until this year, I’ve had minimal time to do so, but I have picked up a few pointers that others might find useful.

Flowers and fairies go well together.

Know Your Zone
The USDA has divided the US into different zones, according to various factors in each part of the country’s climate. You can find the official map here, if you’re curious about yours. This is important, because every plant has its own requirements to grow, and the zone they need is usually printed somewhere on the tag at the store. For instance, the Oriental Lilly (the big pink and white flower) and the balloon flower (the purple one) both come back year after year because they are accustomed to the same type of climate I live in. If they were better suited to a more southern zone, I would need to dig them up each year and bring them inside.

Although sunflowers reseed themselves each year, they’re
still considered annuals.

Annuals vs Perennials
These terms may seem confusing when you’re first getting started. Annuals are plants that only grow for one year, while perennials come back year after year. I remember the distinction because “annuals” have “annual” right in the name. Those two words, along with anniversary, all stem from the Latin word “annus”, which means “year”.

Most of your bright flowers, like mums, snap dragons and sunflowers are annuals. Tulips, daffodils and many types of mint are perennials, depending on your hardiness zone.

Mints are great. They’re hard to kill, great in teas or mojitos and can be used in many crafts.

Don’t Let Bugs Scare You!
I’ve never been all that squeamish about bugs, outside of centipedes (those suckers are CREEPY), but I know plenty of people who are. If you’re interested in gardening, you’ll come across quite a few bugs, so you’ll want to do your best to overcome that fear. The vast majority of them are actually very helpful! Worms, for instance, create new soil and bees pollinate flowers.

There’s no shame in wearing gardening gloves. If you don’t mind them, they can also protect your hands from hidden stinging plants like nettle, too.

If anyone’s interested in any more input about gardening from me, let me know, and I can put together another entry like this one.

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