At what point does a garden morph from the idea of a dream to a nightmare that is out of control? Who knows? But maybe it’s a thing to do with “age and stage” – the younger you are, the more likely you are to have a busy garden.
As you get older, there is either a refinement of how a garden works and what to grow or a reduction, meaning less work and maintenance.
Whatever stage you are at, it is always about how you choose the plants in the first place.
Maybe you inherited someone else’s dream that got a bit out of hand or maybe you like the structural qualities of the choices someone made a long time ago.
As we become a little savvier with gardens and how they work and for what reason, we start to see the relationships between elements like soil and plant types.
For instance, you would have picked up that a large-leaf Spathiphyllum wouldn’t stand much of a chance in the open sun on sandy soil.
The catch out here is buying plants from large outlets when the plants are well-presented, with a label that looks terrific, and they appear good and healthy but will curl up their toes in a matter of months.
You’re faced with more disappointment and counting the cost.
Five plants in reasonable-sized containers can cost you up to $150, so failure is not a good option.
Many of these plants are simply not meant to grow here. Yes, there are always exceptions and people clever enough to know how to provide intensive care.
But the average gardener doesn’t have the luxury of that time and meeting the ongoing costs of dead plants.
All we are saying here is to do a little research on the plant that you like before you buy it.
Googling it while you’re standing there is useful.
You may discover that pretty little plant is an alpine cover and has no place in the tropics.
Take your time rather than respond to the impulses the sellers hope for, do some reconnaissance one weekend and work out a list and you will save time and money.