Over the past 20 years I've learned a few things that are always true, even if it doesn't seem like it at the time. Regardless of the weather, soil, or state I'm living in, these are my constants.
1. One person's crazy is another's creative solution.
Once I realized my 'Mint Crisp' lonicera was going to be too vigorous for my threaded rod arbor, I needed to find a way to increase the surface area available to the vine without increasing the size of the arbor. (Ignore the green plastic fence. I'm keeping the dogs way from this area until I've filled in all the holes they've dug.)
I wrapped clear plastic reinforced tubing around the arbor and secured it with zip ties. I was able to accomplish my goal and horrify the neighbors at the same time. Score! I'm training the vine to grow through and around the tubing to eventually cover it up.
2. Never be afraid to try something unconventional.
Did I mention the curtain I have hanging on the OUTSIDE of my house to block reflected heat from frying my plants?
Yes, this does look ridiculous, but it's highly effective at stopping the laser-like reflected heat coming off this window in the afternoon. A huge red salvia 'Maraschino' and tall zinnias are planted in the pots in front of the curtain. By mid-summer there are so many plants blocking the curtain I barely notice it.
3. Do not prune when angry.
When she reaches for the chainsaw, he'd better run.
A gardener in a nearby town used to change the decor around the bicycles to match the seasons. I absolutely loved it and would go out of my way to drive past the house. His garden, his house, his rules.
5. Compost is your garden's best friend.
The sunny border in early June 2013
In the past 10 years I've been working in this garden I've used tons and tons of compost.
6. Forgetting to turn the soaker hoses off and letting them run for over 12 hours will leave your rain-starved garden very well watered.
You know it's dry when even the Shasta daisies and orange milkweed are thirsty.
7. National Garden Naked Day probably shouldn't be taken seriously unless you're a nudist or have a very tall fence.
Check out the guy on the far left: He looks a bit sad to have been given such a small pot.
8. There is no such thing as "Popping into the garden for a few minutes". You'll be gone for hours. Just admit it.
Part of my container garden
9. Mother Nature always wins.
"So you think my Rose of Sharon needs pruning? Then thanks for knocking it over for me!"