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Janice Peterson: When it comes to planting, are you a planner or a plopper?

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Janice Peterson
August 13, 2014

There are two kinds of gardeners: “planners” and “ploppers”. Planners create a well thought-out design and execute according to plans. Ploppers randomly throw plants in the ground. I admit I tend to be a plopper even though the results are often less than desirable. The best gardens have some thought behind them, so I try very hard to be a planner.

Several years ago my husband created a wonderful garden bed in a sunny part of our yard, complete with stone edging. We dubbed it “Mike's berm” and I had free reign to plant it however I liked. The first thing I did was layer in spring blooming bulbs. This was a great idea (thanks, Mark Dwyer!) and I have a beautiful, no-fuss spring display every year.

However, my planting of the berm beyond bulbs was less than stellar. I plopped in some perennials, threw in some annuals and generally added any orphan plant I divided or was gifted. It was kind of a mess, and this year I finally decided to create a real perennial garden.

First I wrote a wish list of all the plants I wanted to include. I actually created a spreadsheet, and listed each plant's height, spread and flowering time. I narrowed my list down to about a dozen varieties and drew up a plan. Next I removed all existing plants from the bed (some to be replanted according to The Plan) and prepared the bed for planting. And when I planted, I stuck to The Plan!

I can see there are a few areas that need filling in, and I am waiting for the Rotary Botanical Gardens Fall Plant Sale, September 6 and 7 (click here for more details) to find some intriguing perennials to complete this garden.

Now the hard part – I pledge never to just plunk some random plant in Mike's berm. I promise I will stick to The Plan!



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