We’re all busy, right? Personally, I work full-time from home, homeschool my 4 kids, have this obsession with cooking fresh meals for my family, and do a bit of “just for me” blogging on the side.
And then there’s the novel writing.
And the husband deserves some attention, too (wonderful man that he is.)
And during gardening season….GARDENING!
So, what I’m saying is….sometimes, we need to be lazy. And, luckily, sometimes lazy works.
Such is my front yard planting method.
See, we started the front yard with lots of clearance perennials and perennials that I wintersowed our first couple of years here. And I made a point of choosing plants that were tough and would re-seed, for the most part. I knew getting rid of as much lawn as possible would be important (see “lazy,” above…) and we’ve been expanding the beds ever since. There is a narrow path of lawn left in our front garden now. I am considering keeping it, but probably not. It still requires a lawn mower.
So I love this garden, but like any gardener, I like to see new things in my garden from time to time. New colors, new plants. And each year, I end up with a few more. Some white coneflower here, some northern sea oats there, and, oh, hey, look at that black hollyhock!
These plants are all in my garden thanks to laziness. Here’s what happens:
I start going through my seed stash in January. I set some aside to wintersow (these are usually plants that I want for smaller garden areas or for specific purposes). Then I go through what’s left. I may have a four -year-old packet of calendula seeds sitting around, or a measly one or two liatris seeds. A few milkweed seeds I collected a couple of years ago.
Old seeds. Leftovers. That’s what I’m saying here.
I don’t want to take the time, effort, or soil to bother starting these remainders indoors or even in wintersowing jugs. Like I said…lazy.
But I don’t want to waste them either, because they’re seeds. They are my dragon’s hoard. My preciouses….
So I take those packets of remainders outside with me some time in January or February, and I look at the garden and remember all of those places where I’d wished for just a dash of color the year before. And I open the packets, and I sprinkle the remainder seeds on top of the frozen soil in that spot. And my neighbors walk by on their way to the corner store or bus stop and wonder what the crazy lady in the corner house is doing now.
And then, in spring, I watch and see what comes up.
This method has resulted in plenty of new plants for my front garden over the past few years. It is not perfect. If you want neat, orderly garden beds, this is not going to be your cup of tea. My front garden, if it had a style, would most likely be called “chaotic cottage.” And, luckily, that is exactly what I was going for. This method works for me, because I really don’t have much of a set “design” in mind. I plant things. They work, or they don’t. Usually, they do. And if they don’t work out, they get transplanted elsewhere. This garden is a source of serenity for me, both in the planning and in the enjoyment of it. I have enough to think about without stressing out about whether my garden looks “right” or not. I like it, my kids like it, and the bees, birds, and butterflies love it. We have a resident toad near the bird bath. Works for me.
I went out and scattered my remainder seeds this morning. Here’s what I tossed out there:
- Bee balm
- Black eyed Susan
- Shasta daisy
- Heirloom pepperbox poppies (I should note here that I never even though of doing poppies this way until I saw Mr. Brown Thumb’s post about how he plants poppies.)
- Lauren’s grape poppies
- Hungarian breadseed poppies
- Nodding onion
- Purple coneflower
- Pink hollyhocks
Will they all take? Heck, no. They’re old seeds, literally a few seeds per packet, and I’m scattering them on top of soil and leaves. But enough of them will take to make this worthwhile. And then I have space in my seed box for new packets of seeds!
I did three more containers over the weekend:
- #5: Marvel of Peru four o’clocks
- #6: Black eyed Susan (for the hell strip garden beds)
- #7: Northern sea oats (for the hell strip beds)