• Jill

My Garden Philosophy


A casual look at my backyard is a tangle of color, and plants, vegetables and fruit. There’s a few weeds here and there, salvia that need pruning, overeager bougainvillea, and tiny little sprouts trying to find their way to the sun.

I have been asked if I have a plan for my garden. Do I have quadrants of this and that? Have I planted specimens near to others that are compatible? Have I thought about providing a variety of heights for visual interest? In other words, is mine an organized garden?

Well, not exactly. It’s not that I don’t believe in compatibility planting, or being careful about size and scale. I do. I just have a different philosophy.

Here it is. I plant things that I love where I want. That’s it!

I consider my garden less a science experiment and rather more like backyard therapy. As long as I’m happy with the results, that’s all that matters. And I’m a very forgiving gardener. If a plant does well, but is maybe not in the exact right spot – that’s ok with me. We’ll work with it. If a plant doesn’t do well – I move it, even if it was in the exact right spot.

When I choose plants for my garden, I’m mostly looking for unusual things, or splashy things, or sentimental things, or really colorful things, or… ok, I admit it. I’m completely indiscriminate in what I plant. I guess it depends on the day, and what strikes my fancy. And that’s ok with me, too.

I’m very grateful for my small outdoor garden, all 250 square feet. I think it’s the perfect size for me. This way, I can know every single plant, and check on their progress every day. That makes me feel like a good plant mom, and less like a garden biologist. Every plant gets individual care, whether it be a special water regimen, targeted vitamins, or appropriate organic insecticides. (I tell them its medicine.}

And what do good plant moms do? They talk to their plants, of course. I encourage, and cheerlead daily, especially for the little ones that are struggling. And I always provide happy affirmations for the plants that have really done their job well.

All to say, however you garden, it’s the right way. It’s about the satisfaction of seeing things grow, enjoying their color and produce, and enjoying good conversation!

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