Friday, February 20, 2015

Inquiring Minds....En Guard! (ening)

Janice asked:  "Enjoyed your fairy garden. How do you decide on what to put in it each year. And your beautiful flower gardens. Do you save the seeds from the year before??? Thanks, now i know what i have, lack of sunshine and the outside jobs, wow can take a tole on your body and mine."

Rosedel asked "I'm trying to plan flower beds. How do you do that? Take pictures and plan or make a diagram or...? I have been looking on the internet for flowers that would do well in my zone but I don't know if they are compatible with each other and if they will look good together. Anyway, I'd like to know how you do this."

Because my world looks like this...

and this right now...

it might be a good time to talk about gardening...
both fairy gardens and flower gardens.

I hate to disappoint you, but I have to say right up front,
that I am not one for extravagant layout plans when it comes to gardening.
I am also not a "rule" follower.

I garden by feel.

I plant as the spirit moves me.

I love color...lots of color...the more colors all thrown together, the happier I am.
Which is sort of funny for someone as organized as I.
But, when it comes to gardening, I like to consider it more like art...
where anything goes!

Don't get me wrong, I love the look of gardens that are color-coordinated and neat
and ultra-planned.
That just doesn't happen to be the type of gardener that I am.
And luckily, I am never disappointed with my gardens.

I have certain flowers that are my favorites...
ones that I cannot imagine living without.
And so I take extra care to assure there are good places to plant these lovelies that make me smile!

When planting a flower bed, about the only "rule" that I follow is to plant by height...
from shortest in the front to tallest in the back.

Also, I have learned that for esthetics, if you are planting a grouping of one type of flower,
it looks best if you stick with an odd rather than an even number of plants in that particular
same-species grouping.

On occasion, I do save seeds, however, many of the flowers that I love are excellent
self-seeders and come back year after year.

My all time favorite flower is the zinnia.
Colorful, old-fashioned, perfect to cut and bring in the house...

I plant oodles of zinnias that I start from seed each year.

Another favorite...and perfect farm flower is the sunflower.

I love them as big as possible!

And rather than harvest the seeds for our own use,
I prefer to leave them for the birds.

Whenever possible, I try to plant perennial flowers.
You can't beat a flower that comes back bigger and better each year!

Perennials can be split each year and moved into "bare" areas of the garden.
They just keep on giving and giving!

After I have a garden filled with perennials,
then I add in the yearly annuals for more pops of color and all-season-long show!

It is difficult to plant the perfect flower garden the first time around.
It takes a few years of figuring out what flowers thrive best in your soil type.
It is good to know what the sunlight and moisture needs are for the species that you have picked...
making sure that they are similar in those ways.

I have also learned over the years that there are some flowers that are quite beneficial
for planting in and around your vegetable garden.
Some flowers repel and some flowers attract insects and thus can help to keep
harmful pests off of your produce crop.

As for fairy gardens...
an annual trip to a local greenhouse is how I start.

I pick small specimens...
baby tears, thyme, small succulents, and tiny annuals to scatter throughout the garden.

A couple of larger items provide a backdrop for fairy houses
and make it look "woodsy" around the edges of the garden.

Again, I have a very loose plan for how I want the garden to look...
but mostly just jump right in and plan as I go.

Much like a bonsai garden, a fairy garden needs lots of pruning throughout the season,
or your fairies will become jungle fairies!

Normally we take A Walk On The Wild Side on Saturdays...
where I post photos taken by our game cameras during the week.
Because it has been so bitter cold...
(I actually couldn't bear to hike into the woods to place the cameras this past week)
we will be skipping Saturday's post this week.

We will be back with more from the Wild Side just as soon as this weather breaks!


  1. I've been planting seeds this morning! Hooray! My question is do you start your zinnias from seed indoors, or do you scatter them in a bed when it is warm enough? Have a great day! Try to stay warm!

    1. I plant mine in the greenhouse in March so that they have a longer growing season and are much showier earlier. Otherwise where we are it is not warm enough for their germination until much later.

  2. Your flowers were a most welcome site this morning. Almost makes me want summer although today's temperatures are doing a pretty good job of that. Great pictures safe!xxooo

  3. i always love seeing all of your flowers! i went from planting all white flowers when my upper garden was completed to planting whatever i can find that grows. once my surrounding privacy trees grew, i found that i have a lot of shade in my gardens which cn be problematic.

  4. I have been able to get out still in our -35C temps and that's with out the wind chill I get all bundled and layered up and the sun has been shining so that helps . Thanks for the wonderful warm summery post it helps on a day like today lol ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

  5. I can't blame you for not putting the cameras out this week. It seems that it's been brutal all through the Northeast.
    Zinnias and sunflowers are two summer standards here too. Your zinnias look so healthy, with no evidence of the powdery mildew we sometimes get.
    I have a hard time planning gardens too, although, like you I am usually very organized. I don't have the flare you do though. I can't seem to get what I want from my head to the garden space. Frustrating! I'm sure experience will sort that out for me. Your garden spaces look wonderfully vibrant!

  6. So now my plan is to go to a nursery and choose what makes my heart happy! Of course I have to keep in mind the sun/shade issue but otherwise I'll get what strikes my fancy. Thanks!

  7. An American in TokyoFebruary 23, 2015 at 12:59 AM

    Lovely post, as always!
    Keep warm! =)


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