Lazy Gal’s Garden Guide – Part 2

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Being a lazy gardener I have a few tips to share on how to keep the joy in gardening when you have little time to devote to it. 

Lazy Gal’s Garden Guide – Part 2

Lazy Gal's Garden Guide Part 2, a gardening how to series for the lazy or limited gardener.

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Last week we got started on a gardening series here at Flower Patch.

If you missed Part 1 then click on over if you wish to start at the beginning.

Basically, I covered why and how you would start in the Fall on your beautiful new garden.
Two main points were how to build your soil for a great Spring and to start small.
This week we will continue with…

#3 Good Tools will be a Lifesaver

Lazy Gal's Garden Guide favorite tools, hoe dag,

Great tools go a long way in helping to make your gardening experience much easier.  I have a few favorites that get used time and time again.
My very favorite is my Hoedag

This tool is so versatile, I dig, plant, break up hard dirt, and weed with this little baby.

I first found this tool at a large garden show in Boise, Idaho. Actually, I should say that a friend I was with there told me about it and we hunted down the booth selling them.

I met the man who makes them out of his workshop in Northern Idaho.  He takes great pride in the quality and workmanship, and I like knowing I am supporting a small business that cares about quality.

I have owned, used, and abused this tool for 13 years and it is still sturdy and strong! The handle isn’t splintering, nothing is loosening, and the blade is still sharp. I found that they have it on Amazon now. 

It is so well made that I know it will last for years to come but I am getting myself a second one to have as an extra.

Good gloves are a must for me.  Many don’t like using gloves, saying it hinders their dexterity and I used to think that way too. But something changed my mind overnight.

When I lived in the San Joaquin Valley I had a neighbor who came down with Lockjaw (tetanus) and ended up in the hospital for a very long time.  It really did a number on her…do you know how she got it?

She didn’t step on a rusty nail or anything like that.

She cut her hand on a walnut shell while gardening and working in the dirt.  The open wound allowed the bacteria that causes it to enter her system.  

Tetanus can be prevalent where animal manures are present and even in just common dirt.  She lived on a walnut orchard but past owners had had dairy cows on that property.

The Doctors told her to always wear gloves and shoes when working with soils, composts and animal manures. After seeing what she went through for over a year to recover, I always try to remember to wear gloves.

They also warned her that tetanus is not the only bacteria present in soils that can cause illness.  Good soil is full of organisms,  a lot of good and some bad so it is wise to take precautions.

The photo above shows more tools in my repertoire.  The little hoe is from a set of AMES childrens garden tools

These are not toys but very sturdy child sized tools.  I have the set of shovel, rake and hoe. The link is to the shovel, I could not find it as a set anymore.

I use the shovel the most, I use it more than I do a regular size shovel.  It is easy to get in between plants to dig up something, takes smaller chunks which are lighter therefore saves my back and is just a handy size all the way around. 

I have read that the manufacturer has discontinued making these so I need to order another one soon to have a spare.

A good pair of bypass Pruners…the one in the photo above is my old Fiskars which I have had for over 8 years now.

I carry them with me whenever I am in the garden, I think I saw you can get a holster for them which would make it easier to carry when I am carting around my morning coffee while touring the garden.

The green foam cushion is a knee saver.  Little stones, sticks and other garden stuff can really dig in when your kneeling and it helps when your aging knees just can’t take your body weight that well. 

I have a few other tools but I will mention those later on, the tools I shared today are my everyday ones in the garden thus my most important.
Queen of Sweden David Austin Rose,
#4 Choose Plants that Thrive in your Area

How do you find out what thrives in your area?? 

Visit fellow gardeners who have had success.  Look up a local garden club, many times they will have an annual garden tour of homes with fabulous gardens in the area and you can get ideas.

Visit local garden centers, not big box stores but real garden centers and nurseries with knowledgeable people running the place.

Learn what your zone is so you can avoid wasting money on any plant that absolutely couldn’t survive in your garden.

Observe your garden space through the season so you can note how much direct sun an area gets.  This could help determine what plants will do better than others. 

Some do best with 6 or more hours of sun a day, some like morning sun but afternoon shade and some need a lot of shade.

Being we get cold, snowy winters I could not even dream of having Bougainvillea thrive in my garden, though I do love it, trying to grow it would be just a plain waste of time and money here.

If there is a plant you love but find you cannot grow it because of your Zone then try to find one similar that will.

Kiss of Desire rose in the Secret Garden

For example, I love roses of all kinds but Hybrid Teas just will not thrive here where I live.

Now many heirloom and English roses do fantastic for me.  I always make sure to get own root roses instead of grafted.

The reason being if we have an early hard freeze (been known to happen) before the roses have gone dormant, it can kill the rose to the ground.  

Come Spring the roots will have survived and the rose will return true to form, it may take a year or two before it will be back to its former glory but it will return.  

Grafted roses will return but it will be the root stock (many times Dr. Huey) and not the rose you had fallen in love with.
David Austin’s website now offers many of their varieties on their Own Roots and Heirloom roses have a great selection too.

Barrels, Ironstone Vineyard,

Do you have a favorite tool for the garden?  Or a plant that performs well? 

Please do share.  I love learning about new garden things. It was a friend that told me about the Hoedag and now it is my all-time favorite garden tool.

Remember growing a beautiful garden doesn’t have to be hard or overly time-consuming.  Just take it one little step at a time and it will all come together.

A garden read that I have enjoyed is Ruth Stouts No Work Garden book.  It is out of print now but you can buy it used or check your local library. 

She is a hoot and my garden inspiration.  She had me at “no work”.
Now I am reading another by her called Gardening Without Work: For the Aging, The Busy & The Indolent.

Happy Garden Planning!

Don’t Miss Lazy Girls Garden Guide Part 3!

Press here for the Lazy Gal’s Garden Guide Part 3

Hi, I’m Pamela

I am a 40-year master gardening enthusiast who loves to share the simple tips, tricks, and inspiration I have learned from personal experience.
My goal is to cultivate the love of gardening and help make your gardening life more enjoyable!
a Garden Friend!
Want a beautiful garden but don't know where to start? Are you short on time, money and know how? A fabulous garden is easier than you think. Join us for this series on how to grow an easy garden that is fabulous too.

I hope you enjoyed our second installment of The Lazy Gal’s Garden Guide for Part 3 of the Lazy Gal’s Garden Guide CLICK HERE.
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  1. I’m enjoying your posts. I have begun converting my mostly sunny front lawn to a garden the last couple of years. I’m in zone 6 in Connecticut and many of the plants you grow do really well in my area. My favorite “lazy plants” are catmint and yarrow in the sun and hostas and coral bells in the shade. All are perennials, so don’t need much work. My favorite tools are a spade and digging fork that I splurged on made by Spear and Jackson. The digging fork has been a back saver for my New England soil that seems to grow plenty of fist sized rocks πŸ˜‰

  2. Hello Pamela,
    First thing I want to say is I love the new picture of you. It’s great to see your wonderful smile. Please always
    use a smiling picture. I have been a member for sometime and have learned a lot from your painting instructions. Thank you for taking the time to spread your talents.

  3. I will have to read up on the bougainvilleas, that looks so interesting. And yes, I can sew too but have not in the past few years. I love to sew and used to sew lots of clothes for my kids when they were young. I have had a hankering to dig out my sewing machine and do a bit this winter. It is another work of art to me just as painting and gardening is. I am really glad you are enjoying the blog and tutorials, if I am not participating in them I am talking about them. πŸ™‚
    I have thought of hedges but worry the snow plow driver will just plow them down with the heavy snows we can get, they are notorious for being destructive but I have wanted to give it a try along the side of my house, we live on a corner so we have roadway beside and in front of our home.
    Today my chore is to rake up pine needles (also called pine straw) and start mulching some of my beds, I am way behind schedule on that.
    Have a great day! Pamela G.

  4. Hi Pamela, thanks for Part2 on this series, I avidly read your tips, trying to learn more about gardening, which I love, though I am new starter. I also avidly ready your painting tips, thus my following your blog, and though I don’t really paint, yet, I own an easel, watercolours, oils, full set of brushes, and many a sketchbook and instruction guide books, but my painting is still like a child’s work of art πŸ˜‰ – it can only improve, right? My third hobby interest is sewing, you don’t do that, by the way, do you? That way your blog would be my one stop shop for all three, πŸ™‚ joking aside, I find that these hobbies are so relaxing. They are soothing and help me de-stress from my teaching job, when all I need after a busy, loud day, is just peace and quiet ;-). So, thanks again, for this blog.

    My garden consists mostly of green bushes and trees (for privacy), because I love the view and lush feel of trees – and privacy, did I mention that already? πŸ™‚ I have a wall of tall English laurel hedge on one side at the front of the garden, followed by trees and bushes around the back. The only colour in my garden is along the garden path, on a flower bed (border) opposite the laurel hedge and against the wall of my garden office. Over the last two years (since we converted the garage into an office), and through trial and error, and successes, I have managed to grow beautiful fuchsias in pink, purple and white. These are the plants that do best for me. Some Iris (though this year they didn’t show), lilies, some white and red tulips, and lavender and rosemary for a lovely scent as I walk along the -short- pathway. At the back of the garden, in the centre on a raised bed, I also have large marguerita flowers and I love their large white blooms against the green in the back. In rectangular low pots, by the office doors, I have lovely white Calla lilies (when they bloom) which I managed to grow from a neighbour’s gift. I love these flowers because they remind me of my home country, Portugal, as my mum grows them also in large pots.

    Funnily enough, I also love Bougainvillea. It is perhaps my top favourite hedge ‘builder’ because they are so colourful and grow so tall and spread so wide, well over 3 metres tall and wide, perfect for a wall of colour! … and, again, they remind me of my home country, Portugal, where they abound in deep purples, bright pinks, and white! I wanted my garden covered in these colours of Bougainvillea but I have failed to grow them so far. I know this plant loves the hot weather and a lot of sunshine and I live in the UK – mostly grey and wet but we do get some lovely, hot Summer spells and I have seen Bougainvillea around some gardens here. I recently came across this US gardening knowhow website and they have a couple of fantastic articles with tips on how to grow and flower Bougainvillea, and it seems growing them in pots might be my best alternative! By the way, they said the same of US zone 7-9, and you are in zone 8? Here is a link to those articles:

    As for tools, I use similar to yours: my secateurs (hand pruners) are a must, a kneeling foam cushion (I have trouble knees), a small shovel and a hand rake. I have to get myself a hand hoe as I only have a tall one and I keep using the hand rake as a substitute! The other thing I must get myself, after reading your article today, is a pair of gloves! Well, I do have a few pairs of gloves but I just don’t use them! I am a rough and ready type of girl, not afraid of hard, dirty work in the garden using my hands to dig or clear the ground around plants, and many times, especially when cutting back the hedges, I come back in to the house full of cuts and bruises, all over! I will ensure I wear gloves now!

    I just realised this is a long post, my apologies! I got carried away! I do enjoy reading your blog on gardening, painting, and your DIY adventures. I plan on copying your garden obelisks! They’re fab! Keep up the good work! πŸ˜‰

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