Diagnosing Your Inner Gardener

If you have never been involved in a Nature vs. Nurture debate, then consider yourself lucky. It is a debate founded on the scientific theory of Nature (think of this as your biological make-up) vs. Nurture (the environment and experiences that are part of your daily life) and which one is more influential in your life. Typically, this debate ends either in a beat down given by the biologically stronger individual OR psychological abuse performed by an individual trying to prove their theory is the right one. I digress. I am not going to discuss this topic in the traditional way, and I am not trying to psychoanalyze gardening. I am just merely someone who loves to look at gardening in a different way.

So, let’s “diagnose” (by this, I mean figure out) what type of gardener you might be…

Nature (garden theory version)- Gardeners who enjoy plants for what they are and how they naturally grow. Now, believe me when I say there is nothing wrong with this style when it comes to gardening. The key is to choose the right plants for your style of gardening so both you and your garden will be happy.

Nature Person Thoughts Suggestion Picture
I shouldn’t have to re-plant flowering plants year after year after year after year…  Choose perennials or plants that re-seed themselves.  You may have to get rid of the fallen when they die off for the year but these plants will be ready to wow you when spring arrives. 4

Gaillardia will re-seed itself and fills in so you don’t have to.

Bushes look best however they decide to grow. Choose bushes that have a specific growth habit and don’t need to be shaped (or nurtured) to look their best. fernThis evergreen fern has a round compact growth habit. If you prefer upright shrubs, try sky pencil holly.
Why prune a tree when I can hang a swing on it instead? Plus it still has my Christmas lights on it from last year. Slow growing evergreens will be your best friend. oak Oak trees or Arbutus Marina Trees. These trees also look great with lights on them year round and trees are so easy to look after. You don’t even need to do it yourself you could just use someone like Treequote who can help create a service plan that meets your needs. You need trees in your garden anyway, that’s what completes the garden.
Plants should be able to survive on their own! Water-wise or xeriscape (no-water) type plants prefer to be parched. Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 3.51.01 PMCactus, succulents, sage and Sansevieria(Pictured)- According to the internet this is also called “Mother-In-Laws Tongue.” So I guess you can put her in a pot and let her fend for herself!
Neglect is a virtue. Greenery that doesn’t need flowers or fruits to be pinched, picked or pruned. Succulent container

Succulents enjoy being left alone.

I’d rather be doing something else… Before planting, hire someone to put in drip irrigation on a timer and a weed blocker. Then purchase and plant any of the above mentioned plants and use the words of the famous Ron Popeil, “Set it and forget it!” Nursery 6Dahlia would rather be napping!

Nurture (garden theory version)- Gardeners who enjoy piddling, picking, pinching, pruning and plowing. The key to this style gardening is to choose plants that won’t protest you every time you “nurture” them in the direction you think they need to go.

Nurture Person Thoughts Suggestion Picture
Oh annuals, how I miss you when you’re gone… Layer your plantings so new plants are popping up all year round
Roses are red,                  

violets are blue,               

my heart fills with joy, 

when I can prune you.

Choose bushes that you would see in a formal yard that has rose gardens and hedges. Painted in WaterlogueBoxwood, roses and vines
Pruning trees is such a stress reliever! Plant fruiting trees such as olive, peach or nut trees. You may also find it fun to can the fruit and crack the nuts! peach_yellow_kaweah_0
That plant has a dry leaf, I better water it… Plants that welcome overwatering or a food garden with lots of veggies and fruits. Summer veggies imageFruits, veggies and herbs. Hydrangeas love water too.
Nurturing is necessary. Heirloom plants and plants that like to be fed, fertilized and pampered. DSC_8385Camellias, Gardenias and Roses
I’m happy when my plants are happy 🙂 Leave areas in your garden that need to be re-planted for each season. That way you can focus on those areas while some of the other areas have a chance to grow. Also, transplant your green friends when you see they are struggling or are being bullied by other plants. Nursery 0“Trees don’t grow straight, they grow however makes them happy” – Bob Ross

As for me, it took me a while to find my inner gardener and until I did, the plants suffered…I would pull carrots out of the ground (a month after planting) just to see how big they were :-/ Now my gardening style is somewhere in the middle of Nature vs. Nurture. I tend to garden in spurts, enjoying the outdoor activity and nurturing my garden during the best parts of the year or letting nature be while I neglect my garden during the sub-perfect times of year. With that in mind, I have planted an assortment of Nature and Nurture type plants, keeping me content or busy during the year.

Do what makes you happy by choosing the right plants!

Galen – The Farmers Palette Blog