Gardener Of The Month: February 2019
The Free Spirit Gardener
Meet our February Gardener of the Month -- @theeden! She calls herself a “free spirit gardener.” With a smile on her face, she says she's not a rule follower by nature. She likes to do her own thing and learn from her own "happy accidents." We asked her to answer a few questions so that we could get to know her a little better. Hilarious and inspirational – she just might change your perception of gardening.
What inspired you to start gardening?
Honestly it was just my relentless need to get my way...
A little over 5 years ago, I wanted a type of rose my mom bought for me to be planted in the front yard, in full shade, so the whole neighborhood could see it. My husband (with the brains) argued that it should be planted in the backyard, in full sun.
But I wanted it in the FRONT and even insisted that I was just going to go plant it there myself if I had to! (Up until then he was the designated yard care man. He did EVERYTHING outside and I never touched it, so this was a big deal.) Anyway, I went to plant it and realized the huge shrubs that had been taking up the entire front garden since the house was built were blocking the spot I wanted to plant it...... So I convinced my husband we needed to tear out the whole front garden and re-do it, on a whim, so that all this effort for the rose wasn’t a waste...
We had to use everything but explosives to get all those old roots out. But later when we went to buy the new plants to refill it, it was like... I don’t know... love at first sight? Is that too much? I had never even bothered to GO to the Home Depot before this, so it was definitely an eye-opening experience. We bought every fuzzy Dr. Seuss looking plant in the whole nursery that day (blue mist flower, salvia, astilbe, and celosia, to name a few), and that was it for me. I was determined to become Beatrix Potter and grow a huge lovely garden and hide inside it with all my pets for the rest of my days.
Describe your garden.
It’s... a place of learning. I prefer to learn by doing, so it’s kind of just one big experiment... and maybe it shows. I love it though. It’s a happy place.
What has been your biggest gardening fail?
*laughing* Ohhh the very rainy spring of 2015. I planted a lovely row of sunflowers lining our front walk path. But man the wind and rain that year was insane, literally record breaking, and it just wreaked havoc on those poor things. I was constantly having to go out and stake them up and try to support them with different things so they didn’t fall over. It was hideous. After maybe the 10th time in a row that they fell down, I had HAD IT. I went out there in the middle of the rain and ripped down every single one of the rest of them and literally javelined them all across my front yard while screaming all the bad words I knew and cursing them for being so weak. My neighbor saw this meltdown and called me out publicly on Facebook. Probably my biggest gardening fail and one of the more embarrassing moments of my life. I’ve gotten a lot more zen about my plants being murdered by mother nature since then.
What’s one piece of advice you would give a beginner gardener?
Don’t listen to people who tell you that you can’t do something. (“You can’t plant that there.” “Those don’t grow here.” “Mr. important gardener man said NEVER do that thing you’re doing.”) Gardening is an art. Nobody told Picasso that he couldn’t put the eyes there. They just don’t understand YOUR masterpiece! Plant 3 corn plants in a row and learn for yourself what happens! Gardening “failures” can be hilarious. Do what makes you happy. That’s the real “right” way to do it! Just go to the plant store and buy the ones that make your heart smile! They might die, and that’s ok, they always sell more plants! Don’t stress about it. Ya win some ya lose some! That’s life. Don’t assume you have a “black thumb” just because you killed a few plants. You learn more and more along the way. Everyone kills plants sometimes. At least it wasn’t a human! You’re doing great, sweetie.
Do you have any other hobbies?
I like making home-grown floral arrangements, making wreaths, taking pretty pictures and fun little videos, but most of all I love petting animals.
Hahaha yeah. A small zoo:
3 dogs (Forest, Grandpa, and Pepper)
2 cats (Miss Moppet and Doom)
2 Chinchillas (Flopsy and Mopsy )
1 rabbit (Capitan Hugs)
and 1 human boy (Jude) (not a pet, but just as cute)
If you could describe yourself as a color, what color would you be and why?
Red. It’s my favorite color. Red can be bright and happy, but it can also be dark and dramatic. It’s passion and rage. Not flashy, but stands out. There is no “light red.” It’s bold and sure of itself. I love red. If I’m not red now, I aspire to be red.
Do you know any gardening jokes?
I don’t, but I do have this-
Anything else you’d like to share?
*mouth right up against the mic*