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Lazy Gardener or Laid-Back Gardener, a Case for Both

Survival of the fittest is garden mantra. Cupid's darts are taking the place of aphid-prone milkweed.

Today, a lovely neighbor was trying to describe my gardening style to a new acquaintance.

“Kinzie,” she said, “is a very lazy gardener.” She quickly added, “Oh, that didn’t come out right, I meant that Kinzie is a very laid-back gardener.”

I take no offense and will own up to being both lazy and laid-back when it comes to gardening. Nurturing plants is supposed to be fun after all. Why stress and fuss? If a plant isn’t going to survive in a particular location, I move it. If it still doesn’t perform, “Off with its head!” I don’t have the time nor inclination to cosset my plants. There is also a philosophy that goes with this attitude: let nature happen. When we try to grow a topical plant in a desert, we’re fighting nature. It isn’t good for the plant or the planet. When our environment doesn’t meet a plant’s requirements, we can either change the environment (add water, add fertilizer, change the soil ph, fuss, fuss, fuss) or we can change out the plant. I choose the latter. No-fuss gardening is both laid-back and sensible, I think.

lupins are slug food
There were no arroyo lupines in the Garden this year. Why? Although there were plenty of seedlings, none survived the slugs and snails. It’s a pity, but they had their chance. California poppies happily filled in the gaps.

As for being lazy, let’s talk compost. What a hassle. I’ve experimented with hot compost, cold compost, and vermiculture. First, you have to collect material to compost, move the material to a location, tend the material if you’re doing hot compost or vermiculture, then when everything is nicely broken down, you have to sift or sort the results and then move the finished compost out to start again. When the compost comes out, you need to work it into your garden. Work, work, work, work, work!

In the mostly native Garden, I don’t want to juice the plants with too much yummy nutrition because it 1) may kill them, or 2) may cause too much plant growth which needs additional water and/or tending. In the Garden, I leave the trimmings where they land to create mulch, and to compost in place.

Compost in Place
Bearded iris leaves chopped and ready to compost in place.

That leaves the vegetable garden. Veg need nutrition. Compost fits the bill, but is too much work for this lazy gardener. Enter the Keyhole Garden! La! (Did you just hear angels sing? I did.)

All this typing wore me out. Time for a nap. Follow the blog, though, because the next post will be all about our Keyhole Garden. La!

 

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