I bought these Oriental lilies from White Flower Farm in Spring 1997. They were really truly on sale that year–about a dollar a bulb. Unnamed, of course, but who cares? This year, these two lilies are taller than I am. (Okay, when I stand up real straight and tall, I’m 5’2″.) I am sure it has everything to do with the abundant rain this year, because they certainly haven’t been weeded. And in other years they were weeded, but too little, too late. I always have to thank God for how much beauty He provides despite how little I manage to do.
Recently someone posted on the Cottage Gardening board asking for tips on how to maintain things when time is short. I am not the person to ask about this, as my garden is not what anyone would call maintained. I can only say that what others see as the obvious solution–make the garden smaller–is no solution at all for me. The best book on working efficiently in the garden that I ever read is Caring for Perennials : What to Do and When to Do it by Janet Macunovich. Janet practices what she preaches. She takes you through a whole growing season showing you how she maintains a flower bed at a local botanical garden.
Mulching early in the season, paying someone to mow the lawn, grow only easy plants, and grow them close together: these are some of the hints I’ve heard before (though not necessarily from Macunovich). I can never find the time to mulch. Someone else already mows the lawn (but doesn’t get paid), I guess all my plants are easy plants, though a few are uncommon, and I do grow them close together, though some weeds get through.