Dear Ms. Hoelove,
Something has been nagging at me for some time now, and I hope that you can help me. A year ago I decided to dig up another area of the back lawn to create a new flowerbed. Usually I don't consult with my husband before doing such things, but I thought it would be courteous of me to mention it to him since he is the head of lawn mowing here. To my surprise, he wasn't very thrilled with the idea and told me, "You have enough flowers." "Enough flowers"?? I've never heard this phrase before and wondered if there was such a concept.
|When I created the new lily bed, I kindly made it longer than intended for ease in mowing around it.|
I do believe what my husband was thinking was "Great--another doggone flowerbed to have to mow around," but that is not how he voiced his objection. Fortunately, he eventually changed his mind (after some subtle persuasion that included a promise by me to mow this whole area) and even was helpful enough to help me spread compost all over the new garden area last fall. But his comment still haunts me--did I miss something in my MG classes two years ago? Is there a book or magazine article that explains this gardening theory? Are there bloggers out there who have posted about their finished gardens with just the right amount of flowers??
|Without the new Arbor Bed, I never would have had the space to plant more than one phlox.|
Now I understand that there may be people who have turned every square inch of their lawn into a garden and really don't have room to add one more plant without taking something else out first. But space is not an issue for me. I developed this obsession with gardening only a few years ago, and my garden is very small compared to others I have seen. I still have a few acres of virgin soil here, and unless I win the lottery and can afford outside help to remove all the lawn, I'll never run out of room for gardening!
|OK, I admit it--I'm addicted to heucheras . . . and hydrangeas . . . and daylilies . . .|
Perhaps my husband was thinking I have become too obsessed with gardening. I suppose some people might even call me a plant "addict." During the long winter months I get my garden fix by looking at books and thumbing through plant catalogs. By spring I have a long list of new plants that I really must have in my own garden. As if that wasn't enough, when I read garden blogs, I'll see photos of other plants that I don't have and that the writer is raving about. If I had the time and energy to double or triple the size of my garden, I still wouldn't have room for all the gorgeous plants that I want!
|Not a penny was spent on these ruby-red lilies, passalongs from my aunt.|
Some family members (who shall remain nameless here to protect the guilty) think my addiction may be going too far and that I'm investing their inheritance in flowers and foliage instead of mutual funds. True, I do get a little carried away each spring, buying trunkloads of annuals, as well as new perennials. And, of course, how can anyone pass up the fall clearance sales? But I do try to save some money by starting some plants from seed, and then there are the free passalongs I get from friends and other gardeners. Besides, my needs have changed in recent years, and I very seldom go clothes shopping anymore. The money I once spent on clothes goes to plants instead, and plant shopping is so much more fun--almost everything comes in my size! Another point I make to those non-gardening family members is that everyone needs a hobby; mine happens to be gardening. I would bet that if I were a golfer, I would probably spend twice as much just on green fees alone.
|I can never have too many coneflowers!|
Dear Hortense, if you can find the time to answer this pressing question soon, I would appreciate it. If there is such a thing as "too many flowers," perhaps you could suggest a 12-step program for plant addicts like me. The new garden catalogs are coming in every day, and I'm already developing plant lust--Help!!
Update: Hortense Hoelove has kindly answered my question and given some wise advice, which you can read here, if you are having similar concerns. Mr. McGregor's Daughter also gave some keen insight into the male psyche of those non-gardening spouses, which can be read here. Thank you, ladies! I feel so much better now--let the dreaming and garden planning begin!