Monday, March 17, 2008

A gardener's survey

I found this survey in an old posting on The Garden's Gift and thought it would be fun to post here. Feel free to leave your responses as a comment if you want. Here are mine:

1. Lilies: oriental or asiatic? No preference, as I'm not a big lily grower (yet)
2. No-till or till? No till, baby! I'm way too lazy for that. I've posted a few times on mulching for lazy gardeners; see
3. Bare hands or garden gloves? I used to be a bare-handed gardener, but I'm starting to use gloves more now. I'm tired of having big cuts on my hands from accidentally grabbing blackberry vines, not to mention the effort to get all the dirt out from under my fingernails.
4. Garden tchotchkes, no or yes? Eh... I don't have many, mostly because I'm too cheap to by them. Cheap and lazy... that's me.
5. Clay or sand? (by default) Here in the NW, we have clay. Boy, do we have clay. Forget the tiller; rent a jackhammer.
6. Shrub roses or hybrid teas? Both!
7. Hollyhocks: single or double? Again, both! I may be cheap and lazy, but in the immortal words of Freddie Mercury, I want it all, and I want it now!
8. Foliage: gray or glaucous? "Glaucous?" Cool -- I learned a new vocabulary word! In case there's someone out there as uneducated as I am, here's the definition from
  1. Of a pale grayish or bluish green.
  2. Botany Covered with a grayish, bluish, or whitish waxy coating or bloom that is easily rubbed off: glaucous leaves.
So "gray or glaucous" sounds a bit redundant. I prefer green foliage mostly, though I like some white variegation and some reddish foliage too.

9. Hemerocallis: flava or fulva? This is why I hate plant snobs! Would it be so effing difficult to say: Daylilies: yellow or orange? C'mon people. Latin is a dead language for a reason. And again, I like both.
10. Impatiens: double or single? I like both, as you might have guessed by now, but I'm hopelessly in love with the double ones. They're like miniature roses for shade.
11. Calendula or tagetes? Here we go with the Latin again. At least I didn't have to look these up (it's pot marigold and regular ol' marigold, in case you're wondering). I grow both (big shock, that). I like calendula flowers better, because they make lovely cut flowers, but I like the growth habit of marigolds (OK, fine, "tagetes" for you horti-snobs) better. My calendulas get a bit messy and rangy, and they don't hold up to the summer heat too well. Marigolds have a tidier habit, which makes them better suited as bedding plants.
12. Arborvitae or juniper? I'm sick to death of both of them! The hedge around our corner lot is arborvitae. It makes a nice hedge, especially since drunk idiots insist on running off the road and into our yard every couple years. Usually the arborvitae slow them down a little, but the dude in the 4x4 pickup a few years ago mowed our 30-year-old arborvitae down like matchsticks. He also destroyed some huge juniper (see, I'm back on topic) on his way to almost driving through my mother's bedroom. I just replaced some of the juniper a couple weeks ago, but I think I'm going to plant some sturdy shrub roses there too. As I said at the beginning, I'm sick of arborvitae and juniper.
13. Spaded edge or "edging"? Spaded edge around lawns. It's less work and looks more relaxed. Edging is nice to separate beds from paths.
14. Asters or mums? Mums are prettier, but asters are easier.
15. Reflecting pool or coursing waterfall? I love both, but I prefer waterfalls unless I can have some fat, lazy fish in my reflecting pool.
16. Morning glory blue or forget-me-not blue? Morning glory blue. I love the things.
17. Lettuce: leaf or cos? Both! Leaf is prettier, both in the ground and in salads. Cos (romaine to normal people) is great too and stores better in the fridge than the more fragile leaf lettuces.
18. Hyacinth bean or red runner bean? I've never grown hyacinth bean (yet). I love runner beans, because they're gorgeous and edible--if you pick the pods while they're small. If you wait too long, you'll be chewing the things for three hours.
19. Orange or pink? Pink. It's funny, but I haven't been a pink person since I was a little girl. I've always been a tomboy, and lacy frilly pink stuff activates my gag reflex almost instantly--except in the garden. I love big ruffly romantic pink blossoms--peonies, roses, all that stuff. Just don't ask me to wear anything pink.
20. Garden bed shapes: formal or informal? Informal all the way. Big wide curvy beds are great. You didn't really expect "formal" from the person who thinks jeans and a Def Leppard t-shirt should be acceptable apparel for all occasions, did you?
21. Garden bed planting schemes: informal or formal? Again, informal is my style. I love the rangy cottage garden look. Tidy the border with a sharp spade, but then let the plants have free reign. It's more interesting, I can cram more stuff in the bed, and it suits my laziness.
22. Hydrangeas: lace-cap or mophead? Do I have to quote Freddie again? Both! And I grow both. And I love both. But mopheads are better for cutting.
23. Spirea japonica: dried flowerheads standing over the winter or in bloom? In bloom
24. Japanese beetle drowning medium: kerosene or dishsoap solution? No Japanese beetles here, thank goodness. But I'd vote for the dish soap. I hate the smell of kerosene.
25. Garden stroll time: dusk or dawn? It's prettier at dawn, but I'm too lazy to get up that early, so we'll make it dusk.

1 comment:

Kim and Victoria said...

That is kind of a snooty list of questions - "Garden tchotchkes?" I have to agree with most of your answers. Especially the pink. It still mystifies me how I love it in the garden but almost nowhere else.