Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Multiple Personality Gardener

Perhaps, I haven't a strong enough ego to resist the influences that are around every corner of the gardening world! I am bombarded on a daily basis with astonishing sites and sights. My defenses are weakened by perennial and annual urges to plant more and different.

Fellow bloggers I have to declare myself a Multiple Personality Gardener! Is there a support group out there for me?

Most of the time I am all about finding and planting glade happy flowers. They make sense, they grow here, they were here first and I love them. They are a necessary organizing design principle of the garden...they keep me from falling completely into the disarray of the dreaded but all too real world of Clown Pants.

Clown Pants being a diagnostic criteria for MGP...too much plant material, too many colors and not enough cohesion.

Even having principles, I am still tempted on a daily basis to ignore them and go beyond the Cedar Glade limits of my yard;)

...Just this morning, while visiting Yolanda Elizabet (Bliss) I wanted Clematis, well, actually I wanted more Clematis and to be able to grow Roses! Then a stop at Frances' place (Faire Gardens) found me fixated on the belief that there weren't enough Salvia Greggii in my front bed. At Pam's (Digging) I wanted to move my entire garden to Austin.

Was I becoming delusional?

Fortunately, a visit to MMD (Mr McGregor's Daughter) pulled me back to a semblance of normalcy with her wildflowers and wilderness. My inner child was happy playing in the garden and revisiting happy childhood memories. Inner and I then visited Joy (Gardenjoyforme) and played with bugs for awhile....

Once my adult came back into control, it took a forced rest at Carol's (May Dreams Gardens) and then I went south to say hello to Meems and north to visit Layanee. It's a good thing I can't grow a lot of the plants that Meems grows at (Hoe and Garden) or I might be in BIG trouble! While Layanee's (Ledge and Gardens) garden conditions seem similar to Chez Cedar, they aren't. Even removing the extreme weather differences from the equation, she has granite and acidic soil and I have limestone and nearly neutral soil. It's still a big carrot of temptation to try to grow the Korean Rhododendrons she so beautifully showcases.

Sigh, sigh and sigh.

What's a Multiple Personality Gardener to do? There are so many fabulous blogs (more than I can mention ) that tempt me to push the limits of my garden. The urge to change, to add, to delete, to rearrange, to redesign, to EDIT more than I already do is strong.

I must hold on to some Guiding Principles, mustn't I? Just a few more plants won't matter...I have got to find a support group!



  1. Such a cute blog today and so true.
    Wish I could write like you bloggers do. But then again, if I did, I'd have a blog and not be able to just enjoy them!

  2. jean,

    I have wondered why you didn't blog...I think your comments are wonderful and you could blog!


  3. Thanks for the shout-out, Gail. You know, except for your glade, it sounds like you and I (and Tom Spencer for that matter) garden on similar soils. Have your tried the Texas clematis hybrid 'Duchess of Albany'? Mine takes a half day of shade on the north side of the house. It isn't big and showy, but it has great color and a shapely tubular flower.

    Can't suggest anything about the roses though. ;-)

    And for the record, I think it's not only OK but desirable to fantasize about different garden styles. It keeps the creative juices flowing!

  4. Oh Gail, all your personalities are a riot. I say try all the styles, life's too short not to try everything, so what if it doesn't thrive, you learned something didn't you? Thanks for the link, you are a dear, and you too inner. ;->


  5. Oh my god .. Gail ? .. is that what is wrong with me too ? .. I feel all of those temptations and I had no idea there was a very real condition that is named and pin pointed the way you have explained it all ! .. I'm multi-tasking as I right this .. hubby in and out BBQ'ing .. is that another feature ? .. trying to read and comment on garden blogs while supposed to be doing indoor related chores ?? YIKES !!!!!
    Joy .. clearing the table of my office for supper !

  6. Pam,

    Oh if only I could garden with moderation! Fantasies of gardens are in my head!

    That sounds like a wonderful Clematis Pam, I have a great spot off the back patio that might fit the bill!


  7. Frances,

    Inner and I thank you!

    Really, Frances, the big problem for me is design sense. That's why I joke about Clown Pants, Clown pants is me! I was just walking past the sunny garden and noticed that the yummy Salvia ....lipstick reds and pinks is clashing with the Verbena Homestead Purple. Intense colors work but HP is too cool!

    There has been some growth away from CP..I moved the purple! One step at a time!

    Frances, thanks for laughing with me!


  8. joy,

    Garden Twins separated at birth!

    a. Distractable...
    b. Avoidance of responsibilities, dusting and such!
    c. Obsessive behaviors...blogging and choring; blogging and eating....blogging and anything at the same time!
    d. Forgetting to eat, except chocolates.

    Oh, Joy, I am afraid you have it bad! Off to a nursery you must go for desensitization training;-)

    I recommend a steady diet of tech blogs!


  9. Hi Gail, I like clown pants, they make people smile. Your reds and purples just need some white flowers or silver leaves. You are being too hard on yourself trying to get it just right. Step back and let the colors blend and swirl. Maybe I am going blind in my old age, or maybe I am getting wiser with age, but ever since my neighbor, Mae, an excellent gardener and retired flower shop owner, told me that she likes all the colors mixed together, I have given that technique a second look, and like what I see. I used to worry about things clashing and colors not going, but read Christopher Lloyd and listened to my dear neighbor, and life is easier and happier. Long live clown pants.

  10. Frances,

    You are the best Frances and so right! My dearest friend here says the same thing!

    Warmest hugs, Gail

  11. I think I have "Multiple Personality Gardener" disorder, too. I want it all, every time I see anything pretty or interesting on a blog or in a magazine. My gardening interests seem to be all over the place, like leaves in the fall or weeds in the spring.

    Is there help for us? Or maybe we are happy this way and don't really want any help?

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  12. Carol,

    We all seem to have it! There is no cure, therefore we must all get together often at various times and places and celebrate....we shall call our group Spring Flingers!


  13. No, you should NOT hold to alot of principles but all gardening needs some. Like massing (you got it), repetition (you got it) and a few others. Try it all, if it doesn't work, out it goes put something else in. I have acidic soil so I add lime for the peonies and clematis. Maybe you could add aluminum sulfate for the rhodies? You never know. Clown pants or not, every garden is nice if you just practice a few priciples but try it all! WHATEVER makes you happy.

  14. Gail, thanks for the mention. I don't like clown pants, but day-glo accessories are fun. In other words, play in containers. They're a great place to experiment & plant things that don't necessarily fit in with the character of the garden. BTW, I prefer to think of myself as "multifaceted."

  15. MPG! I love it! One more syndrome to conquer...or just embrace. If only there were more time to read more wonderful blogs! Thanks for the tag. I so enjoy hearing what others grow and find that the more differences we seem to have the similarities are even greater.

  16. Gail: Too funny. I know exactly what you are talking about actually - there is a lot of truth to your words. This year I have definitely gotten out of my comfort zone trying new things that are a stretch for my zone and I blame it all on blogging. lol

    I say try some new things in small numbers to begin with just to see if they work... I just keep asking myself "what do you have to lose"? A little cash maybe... other than that I'm having a blast and learning a ton of new stuff.
    Meems @Hoe&Shovel

  17. Sorry to be late in responding, after hours of gardening and blogging I forget to check the older posts.

    You guys are the best!


    Principles, yes I have some but I must admit the attractive flower beckoning from across the nursery is indeed hard to resist! I am trying to remember to include texture and leaf shape, plus....oh my!

    MMD...Yes containers are a good option for experimenting and I will from this day forward think of you as multifaceted and a darn good gardener and blogger.


    Support group to meet at Bennetts nursery at 3 each day!


    I love your garden and your blog, believe me I learn from all of you... and the combinations that people choose are wonderful. If I could I would have the glorious Rhododendrons...what I can share with you...are the tulips and wildflowers but not those acid loving ones!


    I think you have mastered the art of combinations, yours are wonderful. You tempt me to try a vegie garden, really, yours are so delicious sounding, I can taste the tomatoes as I type...virtual ones don't make a mess on the computer keyboards! You put your mind to it and just had that tree to remove! I will have to build raised beds and fence off the aggressive bunnies.

    Thank you all for making this blogging experience so much fun!



"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson