Garden Pros “Out”, Amateur Gardeners “In”

This doesn’t surprise me at all…it’s about time we start listening to our inner self and trust we can make responsible choices in our own garden.So often we think the experts have THE answer and know what’s best for our garden. Ok, I’ll concede with hardscape and irrigation systems you gotta call in the pros, but when it comes to plant selection, color, and design, start in a small area and give it a go. This is how I started my garden, the amateur that I am, 31 years ago in Huntington Beach.

I started small with exterior window boxes and color bowls for my front steps. I regularly changed the annuals four times a year to reflect the seasons and spent tons of money at Nurseryland keeping up with the seasonal color.As a few more years passed, gardening this way became costly. I decided to try something creative and *gulp*…removed some of my lawn. Seems no big deal now since it’s quite the trend to plant drought tolerant landscapes with CA Natives and succulents, but this was back in 1984 with manicured green lawns scattered with colorful, thriving, water loving plants.

What’s a girl to do but to jump in the dirt and dig out my grass. I must say I created a stir in the neighborhood back then and the neighbors thought I was crazy to be digging up my lawn. I decided I wanted to see color – bright color – as I was driving up to my house.

I acted boldly and planted sunset orange and sunrise yellow Gazania’s in a 30? x 3? area around my drive way. These colorful plants, unbeknownst to me, were drought tolerant plants and grew well in enriched or unamended soil (mine was the latter.) Thus, they bloomed all year round. When I was all done, I was completely proud of my artist abilities in the garden. I was greeted each day by the rows of sunny Gaznia’s year round.

Taking this huge garden risk without advice from anyone was a real gamble. I just listened to my instincts and ran with it. The front yard turned out beautifully, giving me annual color without costing me more in water or additional plants. After this project I was ready to concur any garden project. My advice to you..take a risk…look at magazines, check out website, go to Nursery’s…just get out there and try something new…you might just be starting the next new trend!