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Friday, May 11, 2012

When Less is More

I have been trying for the past several weeks to downsize my garden.  Correction....I've been trying to do this for the last two years.  To that end, I have sent out posts on FB, emails to the various quilting groups I belong to, and posted on Freecycle.

This year alone, I have sent away four carloads of plants.  Today, Chris Landis came with a friend and I completely filled her van.  It hasn't even made a dent.  I still have things I need to divide.  I still am trying to move some stuff out and move the other things I want to keep from beds I must destroy.

One of the odd things about this is that often people don't come.  While I have some "common" things such as bearded iris, I have a lot of other stuff which isn't quite so common.

One of the common things I have, which although it has been in cultivation for years is still not often found in gardens is Baptisia, or false indigo.  I have three separate varieties, but this one is the one I like best.

With my hip, and my hands...and my fatigue, I simply can't do this anymore.  I'm trying to downsize in other areas in my life too.

One thing which makes me happy about this is that as I pass the divisions and sometimes the entire plant out to people, I will continue to live on in other people's gardens...Some of the material won't make it.  Some people just don't have the understanding that plants need.  Some, because they have gotten these plants for free will let them languish.

In the meantime, the miracle of a perennial garden is that usually the more you divide it, the happier everyone, including the plant is.

This is only my back yard...and the bag and the bucket you see here is full of weeds.  I am struggling to take care of it, catch up on the things in the house and meet other deadlines.

The front gardens are almost as full and many as the ones in the rear...and you haven't even seen the weedy vegetable gardens.  All in all, we have slightly less than an acre and I am paying for my exuberance in gardening and in the old habit of finding an unusual plant and buying it..thinking "I can surely find a place to put it."

Hopefully, preen and more plant removal...and maybe some more mulch and I'll be able to spend a little less time weeding and a little more time enjoying.


Kathleen Loomis said...

Many years ago when my husband's gardening was a lot more extensive than today, he would often have to divide plants. I would put a message on the email bulletin board at my workplace (250 people at our location) and then dole out plants from my office.

Years later I would be riding the elevator with somebody whom I recognized but whose name I didn't even know, and they would say "the iris you gave me three years ago are blooming so well this spring."

What a great way to cast your bread upon the waters.

Vivien Zepf said...

How's the dividing going? Folks are to get part of a plant that's robust enough to need dividing. YOu're spreading joy and color!!

Lisa Broberg Quintana said...

The dividing is difficult...some people say they are coming, then don't...some will be coming later...and in the mean time, well, I have a hard time digging it! Some of these puppies haven't been divided since we moved here...and they are gargantuan.

I have been ripping out things which are too vigorous here...Perennial batchelor's button (Centaurea montana and Knautia macedonia are both pretty...but they seed themselves in EVERYWHERE and shade out things. :(

How cool is that, Kathy! I'm sure that the freecycle folks won't remember anything about me or the plants...but I did get a giggle when a quilting friend saw me Sunday and said "Oh, I have a garden full of "Lisa plants." I don't know what they are, but I know where they came from, so they are all "Lisa plants." Kind of like my husband who only identifies a plant by it's color. So far, he's learned "Pinks" (dianthus).

Vivika said...

Hi Lisa,
Your post made me smile... I am enjoying my garden, too, and can't imagine the job it is to make it smaller when all I want to do now is plant more! I just added Hopps to the veggie garden, and Baptista to my front yard. I agree that the gift of a plant passes on your spirit to the next person- we have loads of yellow irises and rose campion from my husbands grandparents, and my mother's lilly of the valley reminds me of her. Thanks for bringing a bit of color to my day!