Thursday, April 22, 2010

Remedial Gardening

OK, I'll admit it: I have a black thumb. I kill everything I touch. Not only do I have zero knowledge about how to care for plants, I don't much care. I love looking at plants, I seriously admire people who understand plants, I am incredibly grateful for plants as food and oxygen and beauty. But, I can't seem to translate any of those feelings into the desire to do anything with plants myself.

But now we own a house and a house comes with serious yard responsibilities (especially as I'd prefer to not be known as "those neighbors" - said with a tiny sniff as if my sad yard make me smell a little bit and has driven down property values within a ten-mile radius. OK, no one has said anything remotely like that, but I'd like to avoid it). We contract out the lawn mowing, but I need some help on everything else.

Mostly, I'm asking my super-horticultralist friend Michelle (so, 'Chelle, you have to answer on the blog, not via email, so that we can all have an open conversation about my plants), but I would love answers and ideas from everyone else too.

Here are the ground rules (haha! 'ground' rules! I unintentionally crack myself up!):
1) Assume I'm an idiot. I don't know which ugly brown sticks are dead weeds and which ones are flowers. I don't know if I should cut them off or dig them up or leave them alone because they'll bloom gloriously in a few weeks.
2) Don't give me suggestions to put in any high-maintenence plants no matter how wonderful it would look- I know myself better than to think I'll suddenly become a gardener.
3) Be kind - I know the pictures are pathetic, and I know it's almost May, and I know I just asked you to assume I'm an idiot, but please just refrain from too much derisive laughter. Thank you!

So, here's my front planter. It's right in my front yard and is one of the first things people see as they drive by or visit. What should go in it? Do I need to dig everything else out first?

Here's two shots of our side plot. It's pretty shady most of the time.

What should go in our front door pots (there are two of them, and they are both just as pathetic right now)? What about in the patch right next to the front porch?

Last year, this was a glorious hydrangea bush (I think). Will it bloom again? What should I do to keep it healthy?

And Happy Earth Day everyone!!!
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