Progress, Not Perfection

Who’s scared of gardening? If you look above your head and see your hand raised, don’t worry; you’re not alone!

Though this fear is understandable, Jen teaches her budding gardeners that plants are pretty forgiving. Once we educate ourselves on the basics (how much sunlight and water does your plant need?), then we find ourselves in a glorious gray area of experimentation. Try things and see what happens! You are a scientist in your own garden. Explore that wiggle room with excitement and curiosity, knowing that your plants are quite resilient. If you have done your research to make sure that your plants are in the right space with the appropriate conditions for water and sunlight, there’s not a lot you can do to damage them.

If a garden bed seems like too much real estate to interact with at this point in your career, then try designing your own pot. This is a great way to experiment with the unknown. There are a lot of methods for assembling one’s own pot. The most basic rule of thumb is to have at least three differently-behaving plants in a pot. You’ll need a thriller, which is a plant that stands tall, or has striking color or foliage. A filler will grow low and fill in any gaps, while a spiller, a vine or something that will trail over the edges of the pot, adds visual texture. As you are selecting plant material, try using perennials and herbs instead of just sticking to annuals. We have found that trailing rosemary and creeping thyme travel beyond the boundaries of the pot rim and splash down the sides beautifully. Coral bell plugs (A.K.A. Heuchera) provide a pop of strong reds and pinks. Go wild!

MTG owner, Jen, was recently selecting plant material for a pot and decided to try something new in her pot: Golf Beauty, AKA Craspedia globose. She didn’t know how these bright, yellow balls would behave in a pot, but she embraced the uncertainty and added it to her design. So far, she has found that having something in the pot that sways and dances in the breeze creates excitement and reminds her of the importance of play. Enjoy the progress photo below!

Layers of visual interest

Jen challenges you to try something new. Invite a plant into your space that you haven’t used before. You get extra points if it is nourishing for our pollinator and bird friends. If you want to test it in a small space before adding it to your garden beds, put it in a pot. Another challenge is to try filling your garden spaces with intentional plant material instead of mulch. See if you can find some plant friends to grow around the bases of your hydrangea or other weigela. This will help keep the roots cool and healthier.

Borage flowering next to a tomato plant. This is an easy way to decorate tomatoes because they only offer the color green throughout the season. Add a pop of color to plants that aren’t very visually striking!

Don’t forget to enjoy the garden, and let go of that need to achieve perfection. Until next thyme,

My Thyme Gardens

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