Most gardening books have a chapter, or at least a page, about gardening styles. The cottage garden, the formal garden, the zen garden…. I like something about each style so I have a difficult time committing to one. I would consider myself to be an eclectic gardener.
The trick to growing a lovely perennial garden is to know a few perennials gardeners. I worked on a perennial farm during a summer off university. Almost every other day I returned home with perennials for my mom’s garden. Now when I visit my mom we take regular walks around her gardens. She shows me what she’s planted, what she’s removed and offers me a piece of this or that perennial. Trust me, if you make friends with a perennial gardener and it won’t be long until you become one yourself.
Vegetable gardening is something completely different. I treated my first vegetable garden like I did my perennial garden. But instead of my veggies growing healthy and vivacious like my perennials, they bolted, shriveled, got infested, grew limp, went to seed and died. I think I did something wrong. Maybe some regular watering and a little fertilizer would have helped. This year I’m sticking to herbs and leafy things like lettuce, arugula, sorrel, swiss card and kale.