Saturday, March 12, 2022


 what style gardening best defines you?

Here are some word choices to think about: cheerful, colorful, lush, peaceful, intriguing, unusual.  With the help from notes I pulled from my faithful file, lets talk about it.

The Cheerful and Colorful gardener wants an abundance of colorful flowers, especially for fresh bouquets for the house.  Preference is for flowers that can be seen no matter the viewing point from the house or patio.  Bountiful flowers also means extreme effort to keep up with deadheading and regular maintenance.  The trick is to plan the bloom time to be sure some will bloom in the fall.  The plants you select aren't necessarily dramatic or jaw-dropping.  The selections are the usual, ever faithful's like zinnias, petunias, cosmos, our native plants and maybe, dahlias if you are lucky.

Why would this style suit you?  You love arranging bouquets and sharing with friends.  Although extremely tiring and seemingly overwhelming at times, you like the busyness of the maintenance.  You enjoy finding space for new plants suitable for shade as well as new plants requiring a sunny location.

The Lush and Peaceful gardener usually choose colors in the more subdued color pathway with only a shock of brightness here and there.  The intent of the garden is meant to be a place to take a deep breath and feeling your body relax.  It is a place to throw off the tensions of the day.  It's not a perfect garden.  Not all plants are deer-resistant.  What would gardening in central Oregon be, if we couldn't complain a little about deer munching our plants.  My long-time gardening mate always said he felt like he was on vacation when he could come home from work and enjoy his backyard.

The plant selection requires minimal maintenance.  Native plants are generally the most easy going with the benefit of requiring less water.  Plus they provide feed for the native birds and beneficial insect population.  The goal is for the garden to be life-giving for you and a source of discovery of the wonders of nature.  This relaxed style also allows you to feel free to take hikes or to take an afternoon to sit and read. 

The Exotic and Unique gardener loves tropical inspired shapes and interesting textures.  In our central Oregon climate the choices are limited to what will successfully grow.  The ambience of uniqueness could be created in container garden combinations; think texture, shape and color.    Color combinations would tend to be out of the ordinary--shades of red with plum purple and pops of pink.

It is a garden meant to be shared with friends.  Perhaps remind you of places you have traveled.  You are a devoted gardener who is not afraid to display a bit of quirkiness.  I have seen some totally unexpected gardens over the years of attending the OSU Master Garden Tours.  Maybe you should mark your July calendar with a reminder to do the tour this year.  Who knows the surprises that await our gardening souls!  


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