Blooming Mad

Tips for the Accident Prone Gardener



Gardening seems easy, right? Plant seeds, water them regularly, get excited when a sprout peeks through the dirt, keep caring tenderly for the little plant until it grows into its full form and continues blooming all through the season. It all sounds so simple until one actually tries. Then it’s realized that as with all skills, there is a learning curve. Here’s some tips to get started cultivating some green spaces of your own, confidently.

What might be simple? Focus on finding low-water use plants. These will be low maintenance from the start!

Indoor succulents

Going with something super simple, and on trend, will be succulents. There are many beautifully arranged succulent-scapes available, but let’s start with the very basic challenge of keeping them healthy.

According to Gardenista.com article by Erin Boyle “9 Secrets to Growing Succulents Indoors”: “Varieties in the Crassula genus are a dependable option,” such as the Crassula “Gollum” Jade plant. Another suggested option is starting with an agave or aloe plant. These require not a lot of attention, but they do require plenty of sunshine. When there is more moisture in the air, as long as plants have pillowy leaves they are fine. Add moisture when the soil looks dry, while the leaves are still healthy and puffy. 

Going outdoors

“I am working on a garden this summer called the Garden of Peace, located at the Miller’s Vets Cemetery off of Portage Road,” said master gardener and gardening event coordinator Diana Mendelsohn of a project she is beginning this spring.

“This garden features both low-water use plants and the colors red, white, and blue. Blueberries will be the best bush we plant!”

Plants that can be enjoyed without needing to have the planning required from planting bulbs are a bit easier for the struggling green thumb. Also, purchasing or attending an exchange with plants already started is a great help. For example, at the Arbor and Earth Day Festival at Rum Village Nature Center in April Mendelsohn had Shasta Daisy, Lily of the Valley, Hibiscus, and Luminaria plants for exchange to get gardener’s started and excited to grow.

A gardening secret?

“As I like to keep the water needs down as much as possible, invest in a bag of SoilMoist,” instructed Mendelsohn.

“You will be amazed at how easy all of these flowers are to grow, enjoy the beauty of the flowers!”

Be on the lookout for gardening classes at libraries and at nature events in the Michiana area, for upcoming classes with Mendelsohn.

“I present many garden classes, it is my passion,” Medelsohn said.

There is hope for those of us born without naturally green thumbs yet, it seems!

Diana Mendselsohn’s favorite seeds to plan after May 25 include:

  • Zinnias—“Both tall and short, and every variety in-between, they are great for picking and attract butterflies all summer.”
  • Marigolds—“All colors and heights you will enjoy.”
  • Sunflowers—“Plant in the back [of your garden], since they grow tall. All varieties that you can find, you’ll be glad you did.”
  • Begonias—“Plant white, red and pink. These gems keep looking good all summer long.”

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