A highlight from Flowers for Hot Dry Spots With Jenny Rose Carey-A Way to Garden With Margaret Roach August 15, 2022
Where are you? You're in Pennsylvania and you're 4.5 acre garden, are you? I am. My office is on the third floor, so I get a sort of bird's eye view out into the lovely moon beds with flocks and my herb garden and my dry garden out of the window, so it's lovely. Nice, that's funny. That's I'm the same way for me, the garden experiences about looking out the window. You know, because 9 tenths of the time, that's how I perceive the garden, right? Except when I'm working in it and crawling around. Yeah, then you get the worm's eye view from there. Correct. Correct, yeah, exactly. So in the book, whether for dry or average or moisture gardens, any kind of conditions. I loved how the beginning of the book you really encouraged readers to choose their plants, not just for the cultural conditions, but for the aesthetic, like a range of shapes and sizes, to play different roles in a successful design, and that's a really helpful part of the book I think. So just in brief, can you give us this sort of elevator pitch of, you know, when we go shopping again in the catalogs for fall or in the garden centers, yeah. I think the reason I started off like that, this is my true pandemic book Margaret. So I had time to really be by myself and think about how I put gardens together and I find for a lot of people they begin by growing a few things, but then it looks more like a collection and less like a aesthetically pleasing garden. So I think that's the bit that people struggle with. They can probably grow the things but then it's knowing how to combine different ones in the same flower bed that look good together, grow in the same conditions and have seasonal interest for as long as you need that garden to look good. And so I started with shape because the interesting thing over all my many years of gardening is that people's opinions on colors really differ. So what looks good to you? What looks good to me? What look to your listeners will be different. But in general, everyone agrees that a garden that looks really pretty nice joyful has a variety of shapes of flowers, textures of leaves and heights, not in necessary serried ranks, but that is pleasing to most people, and then color that's where your choice comes in. But to get people to look more closely at the plant itself, the flower itself, the shape of the flower and also then I do go off on pollinators and the pollinators that are loving the different shapes and things like that. Because obviously each blower is adapted for a different pollinator. So that comes into. Right, so we don't want all big bold or we don't want all linear vertical kind of thing. We don't want too much of or everything fernie, we want a mix of things. Yeah. I know I love it. I love it. Yeah. I think it's such a good reminder and great way to start the book, as I said. So not that of course I ever just collect plants and don't know what to put with them or anything. You'll see, right? We don't just go and say, oh, I need another one of that one, yes. And that's the trouble, especially as we go towards the fall, look how many daisy shapes are out there. We love our days is their cheerful, they remind us of when we were kids and picking the petals off and everything very, very nice colors and shapes, but they're very, all of the asters, all of the moons and things like that. So it's really being aware when you look at your garden and saying, um, there's a lot of daisies out there. What can I add? And actually the thing we're going to talk about later might be a really good one to add in to your full garden, but we'll save that for later. Okay. But just being aware of that and even if you can't mix up the shapes, play with scale. Because some of the asters are very cute little tiny daisies and then you get the big boulder purple cauliflowers and things like that. So it's just being just getting your eye in a little bit more and being a little more critical of your compositions, I think. Yeah, no, good advice. So we were going to talk about it is it is the dog days as we used to say our hot and dry. And so kind of what's the driest part of your garden and kind of give us a little orientation to that? Well, actually, I have, I have quite a lot of dry bits. So I have four and a half acres when I moved here 25 years ago. There were no outdoor taps. And so it was kitchen small watering can was my only option, so I really learned right from the beginning to be frugal with my well water. And especially when I had my three girls living at home and there were lots of showers, you know, it's like, ah, okay, girls have a shower or water something. So I really started, I suppose I've always been aware of water I don't really know why. But the really driest bits are obviously a long way from any host, and that's usually your perimeter bits, usually around the house, you can get a bit of water to things. But the further you go away from your kitchen door, usually those are drier.