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How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

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How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  erbarnett on 10/17/2010, 10:34 am

We all disagree on many issues regarding SFG's and that is fine, but here is another issue I do not think has been discussed. How important is the beauty or attractiveness of your SFG's important to you, from a scale of one (not at all important) to ten (extremely important). Give reasons for your choice, if you like.

My rating is 10. I want mine to be a vegetable garden for the most part but I want it to look like a well kept garden with plants that have attractive foliage and flowers. I want it to be able to pass as a formal bed of flowers and ornamental plants when in fact it is not. For that reason, I avoid trellises because they can be untidy looking and can lean to one side or another with the weight of fruit. I avoid tomatoes because to me they are ugly looking plants. I do not like sprawling plants like squash and pumpkins because then it is difficult to mow the yard and to weed around the boxes. Therefore, I tend to plant vegetables like beets, Swiss Chard, radishes, spinach, red lettuce, and green lettuce, because these vegetables are pretty, taste good, are nutritious, and will not sprawl. I try to make my SFG as attractive as the ones pictured in Mel's new book.

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  camprn on 10/17/2010, 11:02 am

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I love the colors of the beets and chard, until time and the slugs get a hold of the foliage, and then they are less than perfect to behold. Beauty fades, but in my heart I know the beauty/value of those plants, that provide the fruit of the Earth, which will feed my body and soul.

I loved the rugged beauty of my nearly out of control Gilbertie tomato plants, the curling, deep green foliage and the marvelous bountiful fruit, however within the garden they did look all wild and askew, as I had not anticipated their massive height. Next year, for aesthetic AND practical reasons I will be making an effort to provide an overhead support system for them. I would like a pergola but I don't think that would fit this coming season. I will think on this.

The anticipated bounty of my vegetable harvest was what was most attractive. I was planning for good crops and through good gardening practice, learned by trial and error and lessons from others, along with the fine, though dry weather nearly all things grew well. With all this, plus my attention to nurturing the nature of my plants, I was rewarded.

I very much appreciate the formal nature of some gardens, flower gardens in particular, and understand that certain plants will lend themselves to rigid control and certain balance within the garden. Very often, to achieve the glory of formality in a garden requires many hands, much time and patience. I am but one person, with just my two hands and I am satisfied the visual attractiveness will be gained in time. My vegetables must be allowed, within reason, to live by their nature, so that I may eat.

Until then, I can live with what I have done.

I am a crazy person for fine edges on my flower beds and I prune to maintain control.

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  Old Hippie on 10/17/2010, 12:25 pm

I love an orderly look to the garden structure even if the plants get kind of "out of control" if that makes any sense. That is, I don't mind if some of the plants end up spreading over into the space of another, within reason, but I like the paths and edges to be neat an tidy. That is why I like to put down the shavings in between my squares and I like the bark mulch under my cedar trees so the grass doesn't get so untidy looking around the trunks. I don't like to see soil between plants so I have a tendency to over plant areas and not give plants the space they need but I am working on this.

In my opinion, vegetables and flowers looks great together. The lacy leaves of carrots look so pretty next to some flowers. I often pick a few of the leaves for use in bouquets since I don't have any ferns yet. Lettuce and spinach and different kinds of chard make great edging for flower beds...very pretty and practical. My tomatoes are planted in a flower bed on the front of the house that most people would have full of flowers. For aesthetic reasons I try to keep them trained on cages or stakes but that also makes for healthier plants and better production

The thing that is most important to me is that the plants look healthy. Then, even if they are out of control rampicantes or a tomato jungle there is a beauty about them. A healthy plant, loaded with fruit/food and surrounded by flowers........how much more beautiful can you get? But the HOA police may not not agree.

GK

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  milaneyjane on 10/17/2010, 12:43 pm

I'll admit......it is a 10. My garden is visible from the entire house, it is the backdrop of the yard. I like things neat and orderly and pretty. And as dumb as this sounds I am always afraid what others will think if I have weeds, LOL!! Shallow, huh? I line my garden with a 4 foot wide by 100 foot long flower hedge---wave petunia in front next to either dahlias or zinnias. I am not afraid to plant "ugly" plants but the beds need to look manicured which is why I don't like the overgrown look of vertical vines in SFG. It seriously gives me clutter anxiety-seriously. When the garden looks overwhelming I feel overwhelmed. I planted my beds this year by sections so that it appeared to be in rows even though it was SFG spacing. Laughing

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  acara on 10/17/2010, 1:09 pm

Appearance is a "10" for me ....... HOA wants an 11 Shocked

Kind of a loaded question though ...... lots of folks will probably say "10" ..... and I guarantee everyone defines a "10" differently.

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  erbarnett on 10/17/2010, 1:27 pm

What is HOA? Is it prounounced Ho? What is a Ho police?

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  Old Hippie on 10/17/2010, 1:37 pm

I think it is Hoard Of A****(fill it in for yourself)...referring to the association of neighbours who try to tell you what to do on your property.

GK

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  acara on 10/17/2010, 2:11 pm

HOA = Home Owners Association

a.k.a. enforcement arm of Deed Restricted Communities

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  Furbalsmom on 10/17/2010, 2:17 pm

EB HOA = Home Owners Association. Their JOB is to enforce covenants or restrictions for the neighborhood. Sometimes they get a little carried away and take exception to how people have decorated their home, planted their landscaping and even the color or type of material that is on your door or the outside of your residence. Sometimes they do nothing.

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  Icemaiden on 10/17/2010, 6:29 pm

Erm, on a scale of 1 to 10.... about 4.75


I am a very precise person with high standards which are constantly compromised by laziness Laughing

I like looking at symmetrical and lovely gardens but much prefer to smell the flowers rather than tie them up!

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/17/2010, 7:39 pm

@Icemaiden wrote:Erm, on a scale of 1 to 10.... about 4.75


I am a very precise person with high standards which are constantly compromised by laziness Laughing


lol!


I would have to agree with " not everyone's 1 to 10 is going to match".

Of course I would like 10 but it may not look like a 10 to someone else.

I like a clean garden and I don't like grassy walk ways.

I like a few flowers here and there to brighten it up making sure to plant them so all plants are seen. Tall in the center, medium next to tall, short around the edges.


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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  The Estate on 10/17/2010, 9:30 pm

10 for me , cant stand long grass, like nice neat borders, hate weeds, and hates leaved on pathways as well What a Face











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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  elliephant on 10/17/2010, 10:09 pm

At this point in my life, probably a 1. I aim for a 5 by the time the kids are out of the house. LOL I'm just not a very visual person and not a decorator, indoors or out. Much more focused on the thrill of producing stuff that I can actually eat, rather than how it looks.

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  The Estate on 10/17/2010, 10:35 pm

Yes I like to grow veggies and I also grown fruit as well Very Happy

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  duhh on 10/17/2010, 11:25 pm

I would say a 5 for me. What I get from my garden is more important than how it looks. I do like things in their place. That is why SFG appeals to me. Everything can be contained in one area, and can be kept more organized.

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  Old Hippie on 10/18/2010, 1:43 am

What a lovely garden and yard! I would like mine to look like that, but it will never come anywhere close. Lack of time and energy to begin with.......or maybe I am just too lazy. Embarassed

GK

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  LaFee on 10/18/2010, 3:28 am

It depends.

My SFG is in the back garden, and is dedicated to vegetables. It looked gorgeous this summer with the enormous tomatoes and tall, healthy plants -- and my friends all thought it looked great, too.

But it is in the back garden, and is veggies only.

I have a traditional bed out by the front gate that is full of flowers. Yep, it has weeds in it. But there I prefer the English garden look - of masses of growing things tumbling over each other, and my window boxes are full of trailing geraniums and petunias.

I'm close to some of the most spectacular manicured royal gardens in the world, and while I absolutely appreciate their beauty and the effort it takes to maintain them, I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in reproducing the look at home.

I think some of it depends on the architecture of your home, too -- we live in a very old stone house, and perfectly manicured gardens would just look silly and overdone...the house seems to invite riots of color rather than perfect order.

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  Odd Duck on 10/18/2010, 9:48 am

For the flower gardens in front of the house, I strive for at least an 8 or 9 in a loose, English-country-garden kind of way. The veggie garden, in the fenced off back yard, usually runs about a 4 or 5 (at least by my standard), but mostly by accident. It just works out that way because I plant many companion flowers and herbs in the holes in my cement block borders. These companion plants/herbs are meant to bring in pollinators and repel pests, but are usually quite attractive.

I occasionally place my prettier crops in such a way that the garden will be more attractive from the house, but it is usually more by accident than design. The lower stuff is usually sited south of the tall stuff and the southwest side of the garden faces the house.

It doesn't bother me in the least that the veggie garden isn't a 10 because it IS much prettier than I expected it to be when I started out. It never even crossed my mind to make it pretty, I just tried to make it not hideous.

Veggie gardens were never an attractive thing when I was growing up. The tomato frames were mismatched bits and pieces of wood cobbled together from what was available and free. The garden was mostly hidden behind some chokecherry bushes anyway, so it really didn't matter.

I had zero expectation of pretty, so the fact that it is, somewhat, is more than enough for me. I have planted some flowering vines on the new arbor I put in at the entrance to the veggie garden. This arbor, once covered with flowering vines, will attract butterflies, bees and, hopefully, hummingbirds, so I will eventually have a great view out my kitchen and dining room windows.

That is pretty much my main effort to making the veggie garden attractive and it has the side benefit of bringing in pollinators. I like the look of lots of the veggies - asparagus is a very pretty plant once you are letting it develop mature fronds. Strawberries are pretty plants, along with those previously mentioned. Oh, and Malabar spinach is a very attractive vine (at least the red stemmed variety I have is) with pretty, pink and white, flower clusters. I too LOVE seeing the maturing veggies and fruits and thinking about what they will taste like heals my soul.

Sharon

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 10/18/2010, 10:15 am

I like color and I like English gardens. My gardens are on the side of my house. They are all wood, some are recycled fence, some are painted the brightest colors of paint that I have at the time. My gardens are put on a diagonal. A quilter would call it on point. They are my gardens and they please me. Just me. I try to plant flowers near the neighbors side, but not always. He is nice and pushes back my vining zucchini when it grows under his trailer. My gardens are meant to be used. They have a swing set near by and a sandbox in the middle. I do put down mulch, but that is used to suppress weeds and keep my shoes cleaner. Toward the end of summer and fall they look higgly-piggly, but boy do they produce produce (hee,hee.) In my book they are a 10 but to a person who needs order in their life they are probably a 4. They are much cheaper than therapy, provide joy to me and teach my children about caring for the earth. Not sure they need to do more than that. Happy gardening.

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""10""

Post  bettyd_z7_va on 10/18/2010, 11:55 am

Of course I want a 10.

That being said, I'm almost 57 years old with a few health problems and a giant case of lazy.

The energy I expend leans toward planting and watering, covering and uncovering, and the best part - harvesting and eating.

Lack of $$s keeps it from being what it could be, but it is mine and I love it.

This is my first SFG and I hope it will become much larger and improve with time. I want to fence it completely (deer problems) and add a water feature, many flowers around the edges and a neat entrance with vines growing on an arbor over it. Will all of my wish list become a reality? Probably not, but it is fun to dream.

Betty

PS - I love looking at the "10"s, but spend my extra time playing with the Gkids, teaching them to pick and taste and trying to come up with recipes made with the harvest that they will eat.

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  Old Hippie on 10/18/2010, 3:30 pm

@Patty from Yorktown wrote:My gardens are put on a diagonal. A quilter would call it on point. They are my gardens and they please me.

Patty, that is very interesting. I have been thinking that I would like to do that with mine when I have to redo it. Have you got photos? I would love to see what you have done with it.

And I think you have hit on a very important point.......these are OUR gardens and if we find them pleasing, that is the main thing. This is one of those times when I have to accept that my dreams and my reality are not likely to co-inside. And I can admire the gardens of ER and The Estate. They are amazing. Mine will never ever be featured in a magazine but the pleasure it gives me, the bit that I am doing to improve the environment that I live in, the food that it provides and the benefit it has already brought to my neighbourhood matter to me. Even though I strive for a 10 I am okay with 7 or 8 for now.

GK

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  The Estate on 10/18/2010, 5:24 pm

I love my garden and love the time I spend in it Old Hippie, it is a passion and not a chore for me Very Happy

This is my veggie plot ready for this Summer cheers



I u use a few of my wheelbarrows for growing lettuce and herbs to keep the millions of snails at bay lol!

This is my cherry tree in flower flower



my mini Pink Lady Apple



Last years peaches cheers This tree is in the front yard, it is in one of my previous pics, I incorporate edible with smellable

lol!



This crop of manderines has just finished and new flowers are starting to appear cheers



I would have picked 20 buckets full and still more on the tree today sunny



So IMO your can have a nice flower garden and a productive one married to it as well cheers

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  Old Hippie on 10/18/2010, 5:45 pm

It is so obvious your garden is your passion and not a chore. And I am with you 150% that beauty and productivity need not be mutually exclusive. I am sorry if I conveyed anything other than admiration for your garden. It is breathtakingly gorgeous. My whole point is that each of us finds joy in our gardens regardless of size and that is the what brings us together.

Thanks for sharing your photos. I can almost smell the fruit and flowers when I close my eyes. Gotta put a bookmark here for days when shovelling the snow is getting me down.

Cheers,

GK

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  The Estate on 10/18/2010, 5:59 pm

Oh no Old Hippie I fully understood what you where say, my neighbor for one has his entire back yard from produce and the front is full of fruit trees and flowers, his wife likes her flowers but if you cant eat it he wont allow it in his back yard lol! As I am on my own I dont need a large area , as it is I give over 50% away that I grow cherry

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Re: How Important is Attractiveness to Your Garden, on a scale of one to ten

Post  dixie on 10/18/2010, 7:33 pm

@Icemaiden wrote:

I am a very precise person with high standards which are constantly compromised by laziness Laughing

Right now I'm probably a 2 & I'm with Icemaiden regarding high standards compromised by laziness. Being my first year, new beds, working full time, what the garden produces is more important than how nice it looks. I still haven't laid out any paths, only have half the fence up at the driveway edge, but hopefully next year I'll get some of that done. (One advantage I have is that I live w-a-a-a-y out in the country & I don't need to impress anyone with how it looks.

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