When I was watering the pots waiting to be planted the other morning, I was thinking about all the great gardens that have influenced me. I was thinking about how I learned about new plants and new plant combinations and fabulous designs by paying attention to other people’s gardens.
But we do not live by good examples alone. Oh no. Sometimes, the examples that stick with us the most are the bad examples. I don’t have a top ten list, but do have a couple. So without further ado, and with homage to Nancy Reagan (wow, did I just say that?!) . . . Just say no to . . .
Garden Gnomes. I know, I know. Some people love garden gnomes, with their little white beards and their pointy red hats. They’re a little too close to clowns for my comfort. Creepy.
Plastic. My mother has a plastic swan planter, which she fills with plastic geraniums and places on a stump in her yard. Every year, I threaten to kidnap the swan and hold it for ransom until she promises to try real geraniums. The other plastic I just say no to in the garden is weed barrier. I’m all for using black plastic to kill grass/weeds in preparation for a future garden, but not when it’s used as a weed barrier. Plastic makes the soil hot, prevents water from getting to the plants, and provides a great place for mosquitoes to breed. Use a "fabric" that breathes and will let the water through.
Red Mulch. It’s eye-achingly ugly. It distracts you from looking at the plants. It’s dyed, probably not with Chrominated Copper Arsinate (which has been banned since 2004), but most likely with iron oxide (which will stain you and your clothes). Go natural. Please.
Okay. I’m done now. Your turn. What do you just say no to in the garden?