Roses are overrated

I just bought a new house with two large rose bushes in the backyard.  They must die.

My very first post on this blog, over a decade ago, was about my frustration with keeping my roses pest free:
Growing Southern | Garden Blog: Take time to stop and smell the fungicide

I find them too finicky, and apparently the only way to keep them free of pests is to douse them with pesticide.  When you're a lazy and mostly-organic gardener, this is a problem.

To me, these rose bushes are like tacky wallpaper.  They're not my taste and feel outdated.  So it's time to tear them down!


Inspiration Garden: Drought Tolerant Plants

When I toured the South Carolina Botanical Gardens earlier this summer, I found inspiration in this corner.  This portion of the garden is made up of all plants that tolerate low water conditions.  Perfect sort of plants for the two beds near the back of my yard, where the garden hose doesn't reach.  I know I'll have to lug the watering can out there the first year to help get anything new established.  But then they will be on their own.

I especially liked the striking contrast of the Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida) here, breaking up the green.  There's a list of List of Drought Tolerant Plants from Clemson Extension if you are also inspired to try this at home.


Fire Ants in your Vegetable Garden?

When planting my vegetable garden this spring, I found a family of fire ants had moved in.  Lucky me!

I'm not a purist when it comes to organic gardening, but dumping poison where I intend to grow food doesn't seem like the best idea.  When researching my plight on the Clemson Extension homepage, I discovered a whole page devoted to this topic.  And I picked up an essential tidbit: if you annoy the heck out of them, they will move.

And for only $19.99, I will sell you my Organic Fire Ant Control Stick.  Pictured above, it's easy and effective to use.  Just stir in the middle of the ant mound.  Wait 24 hours and repeat.

I love it when organic gardening is easier than using chemicals.  As I've mentioned before, "organic gardening" always sounds like so much work, not to mention slightly pretentious.  It doesn't have to be that way.  Be lazy and garden organic.


Sustainable Lawns: Oxymoron?

Environmentalists tend to be wary of lawns.  They see lawns as just water-sucking pollution factories. Some even strive to get rid of their lawns altogether.

Perhaps it would be better to fill my yard with plants that nurture wildlife.  Just give me time!  I'm the crazy plant lady.  It seems like a laudable goal.

But on the other hand, I have a soft spot for lawns.  As a mother, I recognize the value of lawns.  They remind me of our impromptu kick-ball games and failed attempts at kite-flying.  We have a lot of good times in our yard.  

How can we have lawns and still be responsible stewards of our environment?  Well here's my secret to sustainable lawn care: be lazy.  

1.  Don't bother to kill weeds with herbicides.
2.  Don't bag your clippings.  It's free fertilizer.
3. Mow less often.  That means less emissions from your lawn mower.

Go green, be lazy!