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Kerry Michaels

Container Gardening - Are You a Planner or a Dreamer?

By February 8, 2013

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Photograph Kerry Michaels

One of the things I like about this time of year is that the container gardening possibilities are endless - at least in my mind, if not my wallet. My mailbox is packed with seed and gardening catalogs of all kinds and I can dream about what I want. There are plenty of new plants to get excited about, and because this is all theoretical, I can go wild with my fantasies about the incredible, imaginative and fabulous containers I will make come spring.

I am not really much of a planner (my friends and family are rolling on the floor at my understatement), but I am a dreamer, so I revel in the possibilities, which are sometimes much more fun than reality.

Are you a planner or a dreamer, or both?


January 11, 2010 at 10:01 am
(1) Vanessa says:

Oh I definitely do both. Just requested my Baker Creek catalog and need to sign up for more. We’re also planning out community gardens at the moment. Score!

January 11, 2010 at 11:07 am
(2) Siouxsie says:

I loved looking through seed catalogs the other day when it was way colder than it’s ever supposed to get in Houston. But my modus operandi is more like this: wake up on beautiful spring day, take off to the nursery, buy whatever looks good, go back home and try to figure out where to plant the things I bought. It’s not the best way to operate, but that’s just the way I am!

January 11, 2010 at 11:14 am
(3) Lahle Wolfe says:

I plan, I dream. I even plant. Living is SoCal allows me to do that year round. I even tend my plants for awhile. Then something always happens and I forget. Living in a hot, dry climate is terrible. Forget your plants for a few days and they wither and wilt.

In my 5 years here I have yet to actually be able to harvest anything. Coyotes seem to eat everything from gardens here. One morning, I woke to find a coyote about 8 feet up in an apple tree eating green apples!

January 11, 2010 at 1:46 pm
(4) Kallie says:

Right now, I live in a basement apartment and don’t get to do any gardening of any kind – so I’m definitely a dreamer. Maybe I’ll apply for a plot in one of the community gardens… and put in some containers…

January 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm
(5) kerry says:

Vanessa – My mailbox is FULL of beautiful, seductive catalogs. I can see money flying out the window every time a new one arrives.

Siouxsie – I have to say that I’m with you. All my planning goes out the window when I go to the nursery. I garden like I decorate – I figure if I like it, it will go with what I have , somehow.

Kallie – Apply now for that community garden spot. Around here they fill up fast.

Lahle – I’m totally cracking up about wiley coyote climbing a tree. I’ve never heard of that! What an amazing sight.

January 11, 2010 at 2:49 pm
(6) Connie G. says:

I love plants, but I tend to have a brown thumb. I used to make up planters and then slowly kill the plants! Luckily I found two plants that I can keep alive with benign neglect. I plant two containers of pansies every fall. I have also managed to keep a container of Wandering Jew alive for over a year – in the summer it lives out on the deck. I plan to plant more, but really I am just dreaming – I better stick with what works!

January 11, 2010 at 3:02 pm
(7) Kerry says:

Connie- Don’t give up! Have you tried self-watering containers? They can really help out with plant health and longevity. Also, we can find other plants for you to grow – really, variety is too much fun not to try other hearty plants out. Do I sound like I’m proselytizing? Ok. I am.

January 11, 2010 at 4:00 pm
(8) Vanessa says:

Kerry – What catalogs are you getting? I need to order mine all up…my mail just ended being forwarded so now I know where to send them.

January 11, 2010 at 5:52 pm
(9) Sukhmandir Kaur says:

I may dream up a plan, but once I decide upon a plan, I write out, discuss, detail and draw my plans and then set about accomplishing my plans step by step until I achieve whatever I have planned.

January 11, 2010 at 10:18 pm
(10) AK says:

I’m glad you allowed for a “both” option in that poll, because I am most certainly a planner AND a dreamer!

I find I’m more likely to revel in the possibilities when I have a completely clean slate, but as my garden has evolved and my vision for its components snapped into focus, the possibilities have followed, such that my dreaming is much more ordered now for those parts of the garden that are further along.

February 8, 2013 at 8:46 am
(11) Tris says:

Planning and dreaming…that’s the way to go. When you are limited in space, dreaming is great! When it comes down to the planning, you can pick a few “dreams” then hit the nursery and go with it. I have a garden journal packed full of wishlists and actual plans to prove it!

February 25, 2013 at 7:58 pm
(12) ral says:

it’s fun to be both.. like a wise teacher once said… you can’t dig up the seeds each day to check them, unless you don’t want them to grow.

so by that we are all both. doesn’t matter if we have a window ledge or acres.. we all salivate over the catalogs, order 2000x more than we can grow, plant when we can and laugh at it all every year.

it’s life… and we enjoy every minute of it, when we get to eat our $30 tomato, or our $200. squash.
got to get our hands dirty, it’s the best part.

sunshine to all,

February 25, 2013 at 9:05 pm
(13) Kerry says:

Ral — Thanks for your comment. Beautifully said.

Tris – I agree that even if you are a planner, you’ve got to do some dreaming too!

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