What my garden taught me in 2022.
Gardening feeds more than our bodies and it does much more than beautify our yards. It might seem absurd and self serving for me to write that given that I’ve spent my entire adult life helping others create beauty with plants, but thinking something is true and knowing it for a fact are two very different things. Years of working with gardeners has taught me that most people start out with visions of perfect rows of homegrown vegetables to feed their families and yards bursting with flowers that will help feed the pollinators. In reality achieving either of those goals is hard and most of us, myself included, often fail. My job has always been to find a balance between dreams and reality. In the real world gardening is often both boring and dirty and our visions are hard to achieve.
When the pandemic first hit we experienced day after day of new to us gardeners buying up anything green like it was going out of style. I remember talking to my dad in Florida about just how crazy our 2020 season was and we both agreed that it just couldn’t last. As life long gardeners and plant geeks, we both knew that sooner rather than later people would realize that plants are tedious and dirty and the only time you see those idyllic rows of vegetables and perfect perennials gardens full of blooms are in pictures from seed catalogs!
Then came 2021 and it was again filled with worries that kept many of us close to home. Where in 2020 many of you used our website and curbside pick up options, 2021 brought most of you out and into our display yard to see the plants for yourselves. So many new faces came into the garden center this year that I still continue to be marveled by how many people turned to their yards and gardens to stay busy and active. In 2020 you got dirty and then decided you liked it! I received emails from several friends who told me how much gardening helped them through the difficult times of the pandemic. It was interesting and somehow reassuring to know that the simple task of working in the soil could help take us from the worry.
What did I learn in 2021? No matter how much you plan, things can go wrong, lots of things! Every time I thought we could see the light at the end of the tunnel, karma sent more curve balls our way! No matter how much changed “out there” you all continued to plan, plant and spend time with some dirt on your hands!
Traditionally my first blog of the year has been specific to my gardening New Year’s Resolutions. If you’ve ever read one, you know I make them for you, not for me! But, 2022 calls for something entirely different. I’m taking some inspiration from all of you and I’ve come up with some new plans for 2022 and because I want to follow my tradition, I’ve not made these plans for me, I’ve made them for you! Get ready to get your hands dirty!
So 2021 taught me to be as adaptable as possible and that you all seem to like getting your hands dirty! I’ve got some new plans to combine the two. You all know how much planning, time and energy Alec and I put into creating our combination planters. I try to feature the “unboxing” of all the baby plants every February as we pull together all our ideas and build our hanging and container combinations. For 2022 we want to bring our plant obsessed geekiness to you too. We’ve created these ‘Make your own Masterpiece” combinations for both hanging baskets and containers. We had so much fun we even created two herb combos too.
Here’s how we see these new “Make Your Own Masterpieces” projects working. Over a period of 8 weeks starting in Mid April, we’ll showcase a combination and put it together as a “grab and grow” project. You’ll get the plants, the pot, the soil and the fertilizer. We’ll give you a “recipe card” with a diagram and instructions and we hope to upload a video for each project so you can do it with us. Easy Peasy!
So far we’ve planned out 8 plant geek inspired recipes. We created combinations that are easy and we hope that by pulling all the ingredients together for you we can give you a cool project to do with your kids, your plant enthusiast friends, your entire family or just a special gift for you from you!
Each kit makes either a 10” hanging basket or a 10” patio pot. We’ll have the full list put together for Valentines Day so be on the lookout! Here’s a quick peak at two of our favorites so far.
Not feeling the “get your hands dirty” vibe yet? No worries, we will do the dirty work for you. We will have all these beautiful combinations growing in our greenhouses and they’ll be ready for you starting the end of April. We try to post our progress in the production greenhouses on our Facebook Page so watch them grow there! We are really looking forward to sharing these new combinations with you!
Not to mock a very serious situation but more to add humor when it’s needed, in 2021 I learned that plants can help. It would seem that when we can’t easily connect to the people we know and love, plants can step up!
We are really excited about all the new plants and plans that we have for 2022 so stay tuned for lots of details. Until then, we wish you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy 2022!
Michelle and all the Plant Geeks at Lakeview!