Friday, November 11, 2011

Confession of a Gardening Junkie

From time to time someone will ask me what all I have in my garden.  I suppose the look I give is akin to that of a deer in the headlights.  Unless they have about three hours to say, "What's that?" every few plants, I do not think they really want to know.

Last year, as I was walking through the yard, I realized that I had slowly gathered collections of quite a few different plants.  I had a bit of a break in my jobs at the worst time of year to transplant things, July, but I took advantage of it and organized my gardens to better display the collections. I lost a few plants, but overall, it worked out well, and this year things were starting to recover and fill back in.

This year's project was labeling.  As I moved plants last year, I realized my tagging system was not working.  I spent quite a bit of time this year trying to figure out which unidentified plants were who.  I wanted a system that would not only tell me what was there, but that other people could look and see for themselves, as I get asked a lot.  I guess I partially got this obsession from my job of signage when I worked at the botanical garden.  After buying 400 plant labels and I do not know how many cartridges of tape for the Brother P-Touch (also bought just for this project), and still not getting everything labeled, I decided that I have a lot of plants.  Jim figured that out when he mapped them all out for me in case labels get misplaced.  I so appreciate him doing this because I am challenged when it comes to mapping things out.

I just went through my constantly updated plant list to see how many plants I do have.  Currently I have over 500 DIFFERENT plants that I can identify, and a lot more that I am trying to figure out exactly who they are!

A few of my larger collections include approximately
  • 10 Clematis
  • 30 Grasses
  • 20 Hemerocallis
  • 70 Hostas
  • 20 Iris
  • 10 Peonies
  • 25 Roses (Assuming one of each of my cuttings root, which is looking likely.)
  • 30 Sedum
  • 20 Sempervivum
I also have a lot of smaller, still growing collections and tons of awesome individual plants that I just could not resist.  Hmm ... maybe it is not just a joke when I say I am addicted to gardening.

One piece of advice I would give to beginning gardeners is to keep track of plants you get, both names and where they are planted.  Keep labels of boughten plants, and if someone gives you a plant, ask and write down the name immediately if at all possible.  It may not seem important to you at the time, but if you become a serious gardener, you will appreciate it later.


  1. I collected some seeds recently from my MILs house and had them in a tissue. I forgot to label them and found them a few days later and have no clue what they are. LOL I'll see what they are when they grow!

  2. When I worked at the bot garden, I wrote an article about starting seeds. I'll try to find it tomorrow and post it.

  3. Awesome! I've read a lot about wintersowing and am collecting milk jugs and plan on doing it that way this year.

  4. Wish there had been more readily available information when I first started gardening because I lost countless seeds. This is the method I use ...