Are you a book gardener, or an adventuous gardener?

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Briefly. Do you rely upon the written word, or do you do it your way? I want this to be an open thread for everyone. Here goes. Not boastin. I am a professional. Do I follow to the letter, what books say. NO. For instance. Books and plant/seed labels usually quote from local results. Hey Taffy, My leeks are rubbish. How do you grow such exhibition plants.

So this is it friends. C'mon lets open this forum up. Let's have a laugh and joke, be flexible and enjoy our gardening.
 
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Sometimes??? I buy what I like. Then I find places for it LOL. Which has been fun with redoing the yard with not so much clear direction lol. It is working out though:)
I am a big flower person, and need things to bloom. Annuals are great for that, but I need perennials. The whole "full sun to partial shade" is like WTF? For which zone?? I followed this on a few things and I just had to move them later. I listened to the plant and now they are doing great!
 
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I'm not a gardener, I was a bit of a "garden designer" and now just a "garden manager," in charge of a work force...me!

Waitrose are better at veg than am I. So I don't bother.

Don't have annuals or hanging baskets. Too much work.

My involvement is just, general upkeep, replacing stuff that either dies or "we're sick of" and occasionally "moving stuff about."

This "minimal involvement," takes hours.

Don't read gardening books.
Haven't the interest or time, too many other hobbies.
 
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As my first "flower/plant" bed is 36 years old, back then I would gather "BOOKS" to read up on plant species, zones, etc. so to find successful plants that would work. I would notice pictures of suggested lay outs, color combinations etc. I would search about to find certain plants, as buying "common" things at home depo or Lowes was not my style. Unique varieties was and still is. And so it began. I do at the end make up my own mind of how things should look, but most likely there are some influences from reading materials.
 
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I have a friend Jack who swears he can communicate with plants. Yes, Jack and the beans talk!:rolleyes:
Now that I have that out of my system, I'll confess to being a garden book groupie, but what I read is not necessarily what I do. I have also learned not to take local advice as gospel. Experimenting is not only fun, but often gives good results.
I do learn a lot from this forum, which is a sort of gardening book.
 
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There was a time that 60% of our food was grown, raised , hunted or gathered . At 10 years old I was feeding tobacco plants in a one row planter. At 12-13 I was mowing and plowing the garden with a Gravely walking tractor . I was also able to work horses by then. Most vegetables I grow , I have been helping grow for 50 years. I garden in a style that has been used in the Appalachian mountains for 150 years. That I was taught by my mother father aunts and uncles. That doesn't mean though that I won't refer to books or the internet for information on new plants or pest
 

Meadowlark

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My gardening background came from my family and was built upon through my own trial and error and experimentation over the years.

My Grandparents were homesteaders in the Ozarks in Missouri and my Mother possessed gardening skills that few could begin to match. They relied on their gardens for food year around. My Mother was one of 18 siblings and they all lived off the land. As a result, they placed a very high value on soil building. Healthy garden soils were often considered more valuable than money in the bank.

They were not only experts at growing things but they were extremely knowledgeable on preserving food....a skill which has been largely lost today. How I wish I could have absorbed more when they were here. I often find myself doing something in the garden which makes me think, "now where did that come from?" It almost always comes from my background.

The last surviving sibling from that family is still going strong at 94 years young. Although I don't see her much these days, whenever I get the chance I always try to get her to talk about her vast experience. Priceless knowledge.

Those who live off the land...or have lived off the land...are the true professionals...they don't survive otherwise. Anyone can call themselves a pro. Garden books have very little value to me....but for technical info on ph, soil microbes, etc.

There was a time that 60% of our food was grown, raised , hunted or gathered .

The measure I use is when over 90% of a certain veggie consumed at home for a year comes from my home garden, it feels like that veggie has been mastered at that point. Such is the case here for potatoes, tomatoes, all kinds of beans, onions, carrots, okra, corn, peas, cucumbers, squash, turnips, broc, cabbage, brussels, and peppers....all over 90% supplied from my garden based on the foundation provided from my family.
 
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I am both. As a book gardener, I have learned information about plants, flowers, and roses.
As an adventurous gardener, each flower project I do for yard customers is a learning experience.
 
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Back to the original question - I read, watch, listen to a lot on gardening. Then I generally disreguard or question most of it and try my own way. There are several times I ask myself "What the hell was I thinking when I did this?" a year or two later when dealing with the aftermath of the experiment.

Right now I am going down the road of planting out a small home orchard on my new yard. I've been reading on permiculture and taking bits and pieces of that in my designs.
 
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I thought about it and I must be a book gardener, but that is changing over time. The way I figure it, if you are new to gardening like me and have read enough pages whereby those pages laid out would cover the land you are gardening then that must mean something. As time goes by my study shifts to the new problems that crop up, but there is less of that thank goodness
 
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I agree that if new to gardening you will read about it and learn that way the requirements of the plants. As experience comes, then you do what you want.

My struggles sometimes with the information online, people post wrong misleading information. Or perhaps communicating incorrectly. This can be discouraging to new gardeners.
 
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Sabina, you are right--some online information is pure whooey! That is why gardeners, and particularly new gardeners, need to find a forum they can trust. On a good gardening forum, if someone posts advice that is wrong, they get corrected immediately or very soon by experienced gardeners who give good advice and clear up the misconceptions.
As an aside, I love hearing about the "around the world" experiences of folks here. This is an international forum!:giggle:
 

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