Gardening without the rules has been a philosophy of mine for many years. I feel I have to first explain what it means ‘gardening without the rules’ so you do not think I garden haphazardly and wrecklessly without any regards for nature. On the contrary, some of you may think I am nuts (and you will not be the first) but I have a 6th sense when it comes to plants. The best way to describe this ‘feeling’ – it’s a little voice that tells me what, when, where, and how I should plant it, move it, or walk away from it. I have had great success growing houseplants since I was a young teen to the present moment where my favorite perennials are spreading and overflowing in my garden beds.
My story begins as a little girl who walked the woods searching for wild violets and wildflowers and escaping from a world that I did not belong. My life was not bad but it was not full of kisses, hugs and memorable family vacations like my friends had. Sometimes it was very lonely being me in a family where I did not fit in and where bullying and harsh words were my norm. I felt alive when I was reading outside and breathing in the soft fragrance of a lilac bush or walking the woods in search of spring flowers to admire and sometimes pick.
My best memories are climbing and perching myself on a branch deep inside the beautiful blooming Magnolia at my grandparent’s house and breathing in the intoxicating scent while daydreaming of horses and fairytales. In elementary school each year I did science fair projects on growing plants- with music, sugar water, and lightbulbs- discovering that talking to your plants and rain water really did help them grow. Plants have feelings and I thought about this as a little girl but never really said a word. Later on in life, after reading books from Buddha and many other new age gurus, I realized that my beliefs about nature and life were not crazy.
Gardening without the rules means to me- I follow Mother Nature’s lead on what to do and what not to do. I am going to admit I do have a few gardening books but my favorite set is over 50 years old and it is a reference book about pests and diseases. I do read and see a lot of bloggers and authors who write about growing plants, and that is great, but those guidelines and/or rules are not always how nature works. My garden (and lawn) are proof that not everything you see, hear, or read is true. The rules set by Mother Nature are the ones that are true and those are the ones I listen and follow.
My advice to you on gardening? Read and decide what you think may work. Gardening is about peace, beauty, and working with nature to create an eden of tranquility and awe. Pictures are the best way I can show you how I do it. There are no instructions because what works for me may not work for you- gardening is an experiment that sometimes fails and sometimes succeeds. As a gardener and lover of nature, I am not going to tell you how it must be done because I do things differently than what is written in a book or on a blog. My gardening style is working with nature and in the rain; working with the red clay soil and no amendments; and it is about pushing the boundaries of gardening under 30-50′ Oak trees.
Gardening without the rules of man but gardening with the rules of nature. Knowing that just as people adapt-so do plants. Full sun plants sometimes will grow in part shade and sometimes shade plants will grow in part sun. Plant tags are an estimate and not always right. Sometimes a flower will grow 3′ tall when the tag says 2′ tall. I have had bushes grow twice as large as the tag states here in zone 7 where our growing season is longer. I have had some things never grow until I move it to a better location where it thrives. You may be able to grow hostas in the sun but they thrive in my shade gardens where sun is sprinkled throughout the day.
Gardening is a big experiment of love and luck. You can have a beautiful garden but you have to be willing to work with nature and put a little effort into nurturing. Be a naturescaper and not a landscaper. What is the difference?
- landscaper- has a plan with bushes and rows, digs a hole and plops it in, and walks away thinking it may or may not grow and so what
- naturescaper- grows a garden full of love, beauty, and blooms for the birds, bees, and butterflies that the humans can enjoy
On this journey of blogging, I am sharing with you some of my secrets and some of fails. I love nature and gardening is my passion. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you check out my other social media and follow along as I share I share the beauty I call my garden.
2016 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @The Garden Frog Boutique