Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Confessions of A Slothful Gardener: Random Friday

Hello, my name is Peter and I'm a Plantaholic. Only an addict could look at a mess like this and think that there might be room for any more plants.

Yes, it will get cleaned up quite a bit but  a lot of weedy things, like forget-me-nots get to stay in place until they become scraggly and get pulled out.

Pink and orange is all the rage.  

It's impossible to walk on this path without being thwacked in the face by Schefflera delavayi foliage. Maybe I should tie it back.

Some interesting potted Acer palmatum around the pond have thrown strong roots through drainage holes and are now stuck in place.

Bamboo foliage must be blown off the paths one of these days but  why bother, it'll just be followed by more. All. Summer. Long.

There are random and uneven bricks under that mat of forget-me-nots.  The flowers are prettier.

Really, what's up with this mess? 

Oh sure, there's always room for more plants. 

That, my friends, is while you mostly see close-ups of my garden!

Imagine my delight just after taking this picture of a new Gentiana acaulis 'Undulatifolia' to find that some of those planted in the ground last year, were also in bloom.  

Just can't get enough of Rhododendron 'President Roosavelt.'

Rhododendron 'Wine and Roses' is also blooming but it's the dramatic wine-colored indumentum for which I prize this one.

 Holboellia latifolia

Japanese maple something or other with shokingly zingy pink spring foliage.  (Don't be intimidated by the highly technical language.)

Berberis 'Orange Rocket' is a three season favorite.  

Random sempervivum from McClendon Hardware wearing rain jewels.

 Speaking of pink and orange... I'm sure this picture will soon be featured in the "Don't" column of  an article on tasteful gardening.

No more space for plants, right?  Right. 

You see, it's like this, I'd admired Berberis temolaica at Dragonfly farms years ago.

Image result for berberis temolaica

It was my understanding that this one is difficult to propagate from cuttings but that Heidi was going to try and do some grafts.  I just found out that she was successful after I ordered one from Gossler Farms.  Anyway, their packaging was simple and highly effective at keeping the plant in place, no packing material necessary.  It looks as if this one is grafted on other root stock.   I'm thinking that the blue will go really well with B. Orange Rocket.

At least we can sit at the back table and pretend that there aren't plants to get into the ground.  Oops. Yes, there is a holding area down by the greenhouse but  I like to keep the new ones up here to admire and to shame myself into doing something with them. Does it look like it's working?

If you have a lot of empty pots hanging around that you slip brugmansias and begonias in during the summer, you can throw some new arrivals in those for a while.

So, there you have it, a glimpse of my messy spring garden, quite neglected  because of the rain, cold, and lack of motivation.  

Maybe I should just hang a sign like this one, stay inside and pretend it's still winter.

Photo by Loree Bohl of Danger Garden. Used with permission.


  1. Only someone who isn't a plantoholic would think your garden is messy or full. I think it looks superb and loved.

  2. I enjoyed the panoramic view of your garden; those photos indeed are rare. I'd rather be shopping at plant sales too, except the garden owner is keeping me in line: he always has the same pesky question: where are you going to put this plant... :-)
    The second picture of pink and orange combo works well due to the black foliage and the directed green above. In my opinion it's a beautiful and dramatic vignette.

  3. I don't know. That looks like a pretty fancy mess to me. I'd say more, but I need to go pull weeds--right this second. Well, maybe when it warms up a couple degrees...

  4. What a brilliant idea to slip ladies-in-waiting into unused pots (temporarily of course)! The long shots are lovely, especially the petal-strewn path. I love your charmingly messy garden.

  5. I love that just prior to reading this post we were scheming via email about what nurseries to visit next month. Cause we both need more plants!

    BTW, your Podophyllum delavayi...(I think that's what it is)...WOW! Shockingly beautiful.

  6. Oh, Peter, for what it's worth, I love your exuberant garden. I'm so incredibly impatient for all the small plants I've put in the ground to grow up and actually look like a garden, not to mention for them to shade and crowd out the weeds that I've been slow to pull this spring due to the weather. I love Berberis temolaica. I have a very small one that I took home from Cistus after successfully rooting a handful of cuttings. They are indeed difficult to root.

  7. Please don't put down your lack of motivation! The cold and record rain have washed it out of many of us for now, who are all inwardly chomping at the bit to get out there. It's good weather if you are a duck or a weed!

    SilverLake Sue

  8. Make those paths narrower and you would have lots more room. It is very cold and has been raining here and frost last night. So my front hall has mail order plants from two nurseries and boxes of bulbs from two others. Weather suggests no way to plant them until mid week or later next week. We're not lazy, we just can't keep up with our impulse purchases.

  9. The plants are the stars and you can never have too many. I think your garden looks great ! I can often be found walking up and down the garden with a new acquisition in my hands looking for a space, even a tiny space, to shoehorn it in!

  10. Oh dear Peter ~ I absolutely love your chaotic gardens, I feel right at home. Heat and humidity are already settling into my area and I could only work outside from 8-10 this morning. I need to get out there at 7.

    I woke up from a nap, somewhat depressed, had a good little cry and now have read your delightful post which has inspired me and lifted my spirits.

    Have a nice weekend ~ FlowerLady

  11. Why would a garden packed with plants mean you can't get new ones? If you just decrease the lawn area by 6" on all sides you'll be able to plant LOADS more. Yes, I'm an enabler.

  12. The words exuberant and abundant come to mind as I look at your garden pics. It's really quite a lovely mess, isn't it.

  13. Peter, your gatden's mess is an artistic mess!

  14. gaRden's! I am messy in my iPhone writing, sorry!

  15. It's spring! And there's always room (somewhere). At least you're open about your plant fanatic purchases. While I've been quiet on that score, I admit it isn't because I haven't received my own share of mail order purchases in the past month.

  16. Your garden is lush and gorgeous!

  17. You may call it a mess but I think it's gorgeous. Love those Gentians.

  18. I adore wild, woolly glorious messes like yours - and it seems as if you have so many delightful little spots to sit and enjoy in your garden as well. We can't stop buying plants if we love them - I've just spent way too much money that I haven't got ... Thanks for sharing the long views!

  19. I liked your sempervivum with rain drops, Peter. It's pretty! Your garden isn't messy, there are many colorful plants as rhododendrons, acer, forget-me-nor, etc. I'd love my garden looks like yours.

  20. I like lush! A garden that drapes and pushes boundaries is much more interesting than a sparse and perfectly manicured garden. And just when did gardeners start raging against pink and orange? It can work. Add some cobalt blue and turquoise, and it becomes knock-your-socks-off gorgeous! My opinion.

  21. Oh, my, you really do have a plant addiction, Peter! I can't think of a better way to go. ;)

  22. I kept on waiting for you to show a mess, but maybe I missed it? Was it the bamboo leaves?
    One of the good things about gardening in a harsher climate is the higher death rate. When I get to feeling guilty about an unplanted flower I just stop watering it, it dies, I dump it, and problem solved. It's not like I'm adopting cats, I'm just keeping nurseries in business and that's an noble cause.


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.