Not only do I keep a vegetable garden but I have several flower gardens as well. I’ve mentioned before that my grandfather was an avid gardener. He planted vegetables but also always had beautiful flower gardens. My mother-in-law as well had gorgeous gardens full of flowers. There’s just something about a full blooming garden that seems to calm the soul.
Over the years I’ve tried to plant a variety of flowers so the gardens would bloom in every season. The reality is that’s easier said than done on a limited budget. As I say I wanted gardens, I had pictures in my mind of lush gardens you could stroll through, you know like all those fabulous gardens you see in magazines. Regrettably, I never had a ton of extra money to spend on flowers. You know, kids, food, shelter, bills – all those pesky responsibilities have to come first 🙂 Still for me gardens were a must. The one item we did splurge on many years ago was a rototiller. We’ve had ours over 20 years now and I have to say it was well worth the cost. With the amount of use it’s seen, we’ve definitely gotten our money’s worth from it.
(If you look closely at the false sunflower blossoming you’ll see a bee!)
Full lush gardens take time. Time to plant, to grow and fill in to get that appealing, over-flowing look. With limited funds my gardens started small with flowers for the most part given to me by family and friends. Over time I did buy some plants – always perennials so they’d come back year after year. A tip, if you’re not picky, you can go to home stores or garden shops towards the end of the planting season. True the selection is limited then but the sale prices are typically pretty awesome. And hey, even if they’re past their blooming season when you purchase them, if we’re talking perennials, plant them and they’ll bloom in your garden the next year!
I remember at our first home I planted Daisies and Black-Eyed Susans. My mother-in-law had given me both from her garden. The Daisies flourished but no matter what the Black-Eyed Susan’s simply wouldn’t grow. I tried planting them several times before my mother-in-law said what I still say is some of the best advice I’ve heard. “Stop trying to force it. Plant what grows.” Simple, logical words. Now I know there’s probably gardeners out there saying that’s nonsense and you can get anything to grow. That may be true. If I invested money on specific fertilizers etc., I probably could’ve gotten those flowers growing. But as I said, at the time that wasn’t an option. Besides there’s so many fascinating flowers out there, if one specific type doesn’t grow why not try something else? After all flowers are meant to be enjoyed not stressed about!
When we moved I, of course, started gardens in this yard. This time around we had a little more to spend so I was able to purchase some perennials. Even still, before we moved I actually dug up many of the plants in my former garden and planted them on this property. In fact I had it put in the contract that I was going to! Am I ever glad I did because the people who bought our first house tore out my beloved garden and put a large shed in its place 😦 Ah well, it was their house after all and its ancient history now!
Nowadays, in this yard, along with a vegetable garden I have several flower beds. Make no mistake, gardening takes effort so you need to be willing to make the time to care for them. I would say the biggest frustration I had with gardening didn’t have much to do with the actual gardens. Going back to work on a full-time basis took time to adjust to. Its incredibly intimidating to go back to the work force after a long absence. In addition I used to have all day to tend the house and garden and that time was suddenly limited to evenings and weekends. It took me a while to wrap my head around the change and admittedly my gardens did suffer some. Weeds crept in and after awhile it was sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a weed and a flower. I literally had to replant some sections of my gardens. But I think it’s like anything in life, it’s about accepting change and finding that balance. Once I got into the groove of my new routine it became easier realize it’s different from before but that’s okay. On the bright side, replanting gave me the opportunity to plant some different flowers and change things up a bit!
Anyhow if you, like me, desire to have magnificent flower gardens, even if it’s not in the budget or you think you don’t have the time – it can be done! Start small. Look to friends, family and often other gardeners. Any unwanted plants they have can be a beginning for you. Remember it takes time, patience and quite a bit of work especially at first but if you start now, in a few years you’ll be elated with the results!
Oh and in this yard – the Black-Eyed Susan’s grow!