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‘One of the worst mistakes you can make as a gardener is to think you’re in charge.’ Janet Gillespie.

20 Apr

Stories from my Sketchbook  . . . 

grim reaperThinking I was in charge of my own garden was a mistake I made very early on—but I was immediately (and thoroughly) put in my place when all the lovely new plants I planted died a horrible shrieking death almost as soon as I put them in the ground.  (Well, judging by their remains it surely looked like their death had been painful.)

proud plantI had done everything right.  I had checked whether they were the right sort of plant for the area, and whether for sun or shade.  I was planting them at the right time of year.  I watered them as I instructed.  To this day I have no idea what I did wrong.  I tried again. This time with different plants, in different aspects.  Same result.  Sigh.  (Weeds—now those I can grow—in abundance.)  It was mystifying—especially as I have always been able to grow really healthy indoor plants.  (These I have to watch like a hawk as they have become so prolific as to threaten to engulf the house.)

succulent1And then one day I discovered a group of plants which seemed almost unkillable (by me, or anything else).  Succulents.  Hairy, furry, smooth, bumpy, green, brown, yellow, multi-coloured succulents.  Fabulous.  And, over a period of time, and a little trial and error, my succulents and I have now come to a tentative alliance.

lookAs long as I don’t break the rulesit’s all good.  I plant them each in a lovely new pot, place them in out in the garden in cheerful little groups of like-minded friends—and promise to never, ever go near them or touch them again—and they thrive. Garden sorted.

So, as promised in my last post, I have decided to add here a quick drawing from my sketchbook of some of the succulents in my garden.  (And, just to be clear, the pots are actually standing on a garden of bark chips (not just a patch of concrete)—but I have no idea how to draw bark chips so I just pretended it wasn’t there.  I also ignored the rest of the garden—the back fence, the Hills Hoist, the three madcap dogs chasing each other in and around the pots—and anything else that was too hard.  I think that’s called ‘artistic licence’ . . . )

succulents

‘My rule of green thumb for mulch is to double my initial estimate of bags needed, and add three.
Then I’ll only be two bags short.’

Author Unknown

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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6 responses to “‘One of the worst mistakes you can make as a gardener is to think you’re in charge.’ Janet Gillespie.

  1. Steve T

    April 20, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Good gardening strategy Sal – and a lovely sketch too.
    You probably spend more money on the pots than the plants I think, but well worth it for the colour and interest they add to your garden 🙂

    Like

     
    • sallyinthehaven

      April 20, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      I am absolutely sure I have spent more on the pots than the plants, but I figured if the plants die at least there are still pretty pots around to decorate the place. 🙂

      Like

       
  2. Jon

    April 20, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Love the sketch Sally

    Like

     
    • sallyinthehaven

      April 20, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      Thanks Jon. Hopefully I can only improve.

      Like

       
  3. Judy

    April 21, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    Doesn’t look like improvement is necessary to me Sally. Love your sketch and can’t wait to see one of the the girls!

    Like

     
    • sallyinthehaven

      April 22, 2016 at 11:06 am

      If I can get one of the girls to sit still enough for long enough I will oblige. 🙂 I have even tried when they are asleep, but they always seem to know and wake up and run over to see what I am drawing. Sigh.

      Like

       

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