Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Laziness is underrated

A while ago I called myself a lazybones for not cutting back the flower gardens after they had gone by. As the weeks went on, I still didn't bother, and look at the result! The deer have been nibbling on the spent phlox and baptisia australis (false indigo) plants. So, from my laziness comes needed winter sustenance for the deer. And you know what, they'll be much easier to cut down and pull out in the spring anyway. Plus, they provide what all the gardening books call "interest" in the winter garden, and I didn't have to do a thing except leave them standing.





20 comments:

  1. Nan, A number of years ago I started not cleaning my flower beds "completely". Enjoyed the look of the snow, ice and rain on them. Also the birds enjoyed the plants. Now in the past I cleaned up everything and it made for a almost a dull winter scene.

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  2. Thanks, Ernestine! You're right about the birds - they do like to land on the plants, and even eat any available seeds.

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  3. Nan, Most of my autumn clean-up in the garden consists of taking the pots and garden ornaments (I don't have many) in for the winter. This year I didn't even get to all of that. Talk about lazy! *grin*

    I would dream of cutting back my plants before spring. They attact birds, even plumper fowl like grouse and pheasants, and deer... and probably (though I'm less apt to notice them) mice and voles as well. And, I like the reckless abandon of a garden where seeds fall wherever and surprises spring up here and there. :)

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  4. I don't begrudge the deer their winter forage, but I hope they don't think it's all fair game in the summer, or you may not have any "summer interest"!

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  5. Very intersting Nan. I dont' clean up my garden until spring anyway. I don't feel like a lazybones. It is a good way to garden, obviously beneficial to wildlife.

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  6. That's not laziness - that's my kind of gardening!

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  7. Well done, Nan. Now could you think of a justification for abandoning the ironing or cleaning, please?

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  8. I feel the same way about my ornamental grasses. They can wait until spring to be cut back and until then, they provide character to my otherwise bare garden during the winter (and a place for the bunnies to hide from Miss Annie-Dog!). I do make a point to cut back the peonies, though, so they don't get root rot.

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  9. Great hoof print photo!! I never clean out my flower beds because I'm truly too lazy to do it. But I have noticed that the rabbits and the birds enjoy them a lot that way!!

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  10. It's wonderful when we can leave things to work out naturally.

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  11. Hi Nan! It has been too long since I visited with you and boy do I miss you. :) Now as far as being a lazybones, then I would have to join you. I left many things as are too especially at Cranberry Cottage. I have not been doing so well since October and things are just not getting done. I find the birds are constantly in my dried hydrangea heads eating insects. It is fun to watch them since they are planted right at a window by the sitting room.

    I wish you a 2009 that sees many of your dreams come true!

    Hugs ~
    Heidi

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  12. Aisling, I'd love to see grouse and pheasants so close to my house! And I love your words 'reckless abandon.' I've got another post coming up about the deer!
    Joyce, knock-on-wood, we've never had a deer problem in veg or flower gardens. Maybe it's these loud dogs, or maybe that there are woods all around us for summer browsing.
    Lisa, I've always thought other gardeners cleaned up in the fall - glad to hear you don't either. :<) I don't really feel badly either - I was joking.
    Margaret, and mine!
    Monix, I don't own an iron. :<) That would stop your ironing work immediately!
    Les, I've never cut back the peonies, and I don't know what root rot is. :<) That's a plant I'd like to have more of around the yard.
    Staci, that's great!
    Kay, there's a life lesson there!
    Heidi, great to see you! I love the idea of seeing the birds so close. Do they ever accidently fly into the window? And the same to you, Heidi!

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  13. I once followed a gardener around through his marvelous hydrangea border at a country house in Scotland, asking tons of questions about how he kept his beauteous mopheads in such exquisite condition. He told me never to cut the old blooms off until after the last danger of frost in the spring. I have followed his rules to the tee, leaving last year's dried blooms on my 53 hydrangea bushes til Spring. This removed one of my most tedious wintertime chores, thereby freeing up more time for naps!

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  14. Pamela, that's a wonderful story! 53 hydrangeas?!! Are they in a row, several rows, all around in different spots??

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  15. I definitely agree! I'd much rather look at those beautiful seed heads than at nothing at all. :) We're in the midst of an ice storm here in Atlantic Canada, so there should be some beautifully icy seed heads tomorrow, if it doesn't warm up too much.

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  16. I leave everything over winter too in the garden and agree it gives visual interest and has many 'uses' for wildlife.
    Thanks for your comments on my blog. I am writing my 'life story' which should answer questions about my Irish family. (Cait is short for Caitlin).

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  17. I never got around to a final clean-up of the flower garden either...and now I'm glad!

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  18. Nancy, Cait, and JoAnn, I guess I really did the right thing! And next summer, I'll leave even more. :<)

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  19. That first photo is absolutely lovely, Nan. reminds me so much of our time in New England in 1996.

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