Thursday, December 4, 2008

On Liriope...and a Confession

I always ask myself, why does someone who loves diversity and local plants have so much damn Liriope in the garden?
Then I tell myself about one of the reasons: dogs.

When I turned the soil in the only sunny place in the front yard, I was dreaming of produce. I put in vegetables, herbs and heritage plants right where someone could pick from the sidewalk if they were motivated.

Then, this lady let her dog walk up into the bed to piss on the dill. My anticipation of fresh salad ingredients died right then. The dill died later, after taking a hit from every other dog in the neighborhood.
(By the way, the lady was none other than our neighborhood association president.)

Now everything I plant along the sidewalk is inedible, and piss-resistant, and cheap to replace when it does succumb. Ergo, the Liriope muscari, aka, monkey grass. Once you have one patch, you have a source for endless division. This is what I call a place-holder plant, but in this case, it probably won't get switched out.

You might ask why I don’t buy a few packages of seeds to get thrift and some interesting diversity too. Good question!

Here’s my confession: I am crap at starting seeds. They are like baby birds, needing time and devotion and I resent that. I neglect them one day and they mummify. The pots get knocked off the windowsill by a breeze, or by a crazy dog, or by the blinds crashing down. When I direct sow, one plant will emerge, and it will be growing in the neighbor’s driveway, maybe.
So I go for bulbs and rhizomes and roots that take a long time to notice they are out of the dirt. Cactus pads, stalks that root, corms, epiphytes—I’m all over them like a cheap suit.
Still, I look at the seed racks in the nursery and feel defective as a gardener. I truly admire people who collect seeds for next year and grow a real garden from them.


Amanda Thomsen said...

Just toss the seeds right in. I suck at seed starting too- but sonce I just started chucking stuff in everything clicked. If it doesn't grow? it wouldn't have anyways....

I likE plants! said...

That is my pet-peeve some idiot letting his/her dog defile my yard. Just the other day I caught a guy letting his dog drop a steamer in my yard & when I confronted him and asked him if he was gonna pick it up. He said "Oh I don't have a bag" I got him one and made him pick it up anyway!!!! It's just unsanitary and nasty. I don't know if you saw "Me, Myself & Irene" but there's a part that's totally appropriate, but I digress!!!