According to Zoey,
A garden blog without pictures is like a hot fudge sundae sans the hot fudge. If you are really hungry for ice cream it might tempt you, but on most occasions you will pass it up.
If that’s true, I guess I’ve been serving up a lot of sauceless ice cream. Sorry, Zoey. (Although, speaking for myself, there are very few occasions where I pass up ice cream, lack of hot fudge notwithstanding.)
There are four things contributing to the dearth of photos.
- My garden is a mess.
- What little that is well-maintained is parched from the drought
- My contributors don’t know how to insert images into their posts
- We have a new digital camera and I still haven’t learned how to use it
I know, excuses, excuses. Well, here is a photo of the area in front of the porch. The black-eyed Susans on the right and the ‘Zebrina’ mallow on the left were self-sown and encouraged with a little judicious weeding. I didn’t do anything with the containers on the left in front of the mallow. Whatever’s in there is self-sown, weeds or otherwise. The marigolds and petunias in the store-bought containers were all planted by Titi. Caleb’s “pot-garden” is in the white enameled dishpan, and Deirdre’s “pot-garden” is in the black former chicken feeder.
The “tree” in the black pot is the Stewartia pseudocamellia I ordered earlier this year. I really, really, really want to plant it exactly where the old maple used to be out front. It’s been five years since that majestic old tree came down, but the stump is still there. I was hoping it was rotted enough that I could hollow out a space for the stewartia and some good garden soil, and it could just grow through the stump as it rotted. But it’s been so dry . . . I just try to keep it watered in its pot and hope autumn brings rain. And cross my fingers about the stump being rotted enough. If it isn’t, I guess I will be planting it to one side of the stump or the other.
Real Cottage Gardening
Anyway, the photo above sort of epitomizes my idea of cottage gardening. The original cottage gardeners were a lot more focused on growing food to eat than making things pretty, and if they didn’t invent the proverb “Make do or do without” they certainly lived by it. Most of their pretty plants were passalongs or just showed up. Some were practical plants such as medicinal herbs that just happened to look nice. And they were planted wherever there was room, in whatever was available. One of my favorite books, America’s Cottage Gardens: Imaginative Variations on the Classic Garden Style, begins with a great essay on what the essence of cottage gardening is. You’ll have to read the book to get the whole essay, but at one point she defines cottage gardens as “small, personal, individual, eccentric, spontaneous gardens created by amateurs.” I think of cottage gardening exemplifying a way of life more than a “style,” but that’s just me.