Leah the doofus gardener


I’m kind of a doofus sometimes. I had bought the bag of mulch a few months ago and then just let it sit on my deck. I think I was resisting using it because it falls under what I think of as “suburban gardening”: the kind of garden where the plants are there just for decoration and maybe even come out of the ground each year. These kinds of gardens, in my mind, go in soulless suburbs where all the houses look the same, and the people are boring too. (Tongue firmly in cheek here, I hope you realize… I live in a suburb now!)

You see, I grew up squarely in what I think of as the “hippie” gardening category or tradition. (And to my Mom, I’m sorry, I know you don’t like being called that word. But, I’ve got to simplify my categories here.) Which is not to say that suburban gardens can’t be beautiful, and that hippie gardens can’t be structured — I’m learning that now! But I would have to say my bias, my knee-jerk reaction when it comes to how a garden looks and feels, is towards the “just let it be” philosophy of gardening: a bit wild, a bit haphazard.

But, like I said, I’m kind of a doofus sometimes. I think I’m totally right about something, until I realize I didn’t totally understand the whole situation. So, I guess I could say I’m venturing out of my doofus-hood and into the territory of the more “suburban” way of gardening (which really is just gardening): planning beds, culling what I don’t want, and, yes, using plants for (gasp!) decoration, among other uses. (Like eating, and medicine, and bee attraction.)

Because that kind of gardening is really not that bad, like most things I fear and then come to understand! Imagine that. (Rolling my eyes at myself over here.)


So anyway, back to the mulch. I took the bag of it out yesterday on a whim (because besides being a doofus, I’m also impulsive), cut it open, and spread it around on a bed. Then I realized I didn’t have enough to cover the whole bed. And then I remembered that Earl’s Greenhouses close very soon, like tomorrow, so I gave them a call and then zipped off down the road to pick up more mulch. Fun fact: In chatting with the owner, I learned that some of the buildings at Earl’s have been there for almost 100 years! Crazy!

mulch3 Then I came back home and spread the rest of the mulch on the bed, and then a bit on another. I really like how it turned out (although this picture above is a bit too dark to really tell). I like the neat and tidy look, and I like that it was easy to just cover up the weedy plants that up until now I’d been pulling out bit by bit.

Imagine that!

Slowly un-doofusing. Which is as awkward as that word sounds.

Also, just for pretty gardening fun, here is a plant I really have nothing to do with, but that grows in my front bed each year. (It was here when we moved in.) So pretty!



This entry was posted in Day to Day Life, Leah's thoughts, Outdoors and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Leah the doofus gardener

  1. Rhonda H. says:

    Love the hollyhocks! I try to grow them and they do come up but they are not happy with our heat and never look as luscious as yours. You will figure out your gardening style eventually. Until then you can always call it “experimental” LOL Have fun!

  2. catriona says:

    I love this! Here I am on a farm trying to organize plants and flowers. I went from a 9X9 urban balcony to 2 aches of wild chaos. I have had lots of doofus gardener moments, however with ever mistake I make the better a gardener I will become. Martine is certainly an excellent gardener role model and I think of her often while in my garden. Keep calm and mulch on!

  3. marianwhit says:

    Beautiful old time single hollyhocks. I don’t like the ones that have been bred to be wierd and look like tissue paper flowers. Save me some seeds:) Also, on the mulch, leave an inch or so “breathing” room around your good plants. If you pack it in too close or deep, and we get a lot of rain, rot can set in. Will send you a photo of a very “non-suburban” suburban garden on FB. There are no rules (‘cept don’t plant invasive ones), unless the neighbors complain. When they start planting their own gardens, or asking you to do theirs, you’ve got it right:D

    • leahcnoble says:

      I can certainly save you some seeds! I didn’t realize there was a newer version of hollyhocks. Good to know!! And I loved the photo you shared. So cool!

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