doodle by andre: do your own thing


T HERE IS LITTLE CHANCE THAT ANYBODY on this dirt road is stealing my garden-design ideas; they don’t want to go stark raving and have to take care of all this stuff. But our doodling friend Andre’s right: Cookie-cutter gardens all in a row would be no fun, and the garden’s a place for each of us to express our individuality, not try to recreate someone else’s picture or point of view. Would that all of life were just like that: Do your own thing, no questions asked, no negative glances cast.

  1. susan says:

    We are all individuals, rally in it.
    Margaret you said it perfectly “Would that all of life were just like that: Do your own thing, no questions asked, no negative glances cast.”

  2. andre says:

    we live on a corner and our one and only neighbor’s garden is not very good ( it is just grass ) so we shall not be copying anyone!

    Our house/garden has been left unoccupied for the past
    year and so we have a small ‘there are dandelions everywhere’ problem. Last night my wife and I sighed – oh how we wish our garden had a ‘white daisy problem’ instead.

  3. Johanna says:

    Oh, Andre, look on the bright side! Those dandelions are cheery, and they feed bees and bugs. When they’re standing up straight you can mow some of them off if they’re so bright you need shades, but leave some for the critters. And if you hold one under your wife’s chin you can see if she truly loves you!!!

  4. Turling says:

    Every house in the neighborhood seem to have the same six plants and one of two trees. We are in the process of doing our front yard and needless to say, there are six plants and two trees that will never be planted.

  5. chigal says:

    I can’t steal other people’s ideas — I don’t have enough room for my own! But I sympathize with some of the people in my neighborhood who maybe aren’t garden enthusiasts but have to do something about that shady mud patch where grass won’t grow. Hostas so thick you could die of boredom walking down the street, though I’m glad most haven’t picked up on the ugly pachysandra and ivy groundcovers.

  6. SuperCareo says:

    The only garden idea I would steal is the “patch work quilt” garden that you will find on the Story Book ride in DisneyLand. I love the way the little hill is separated into all different colors!

  7. margaret says:

    I am laughing at all these comments (especially Turling’s…guess those neighbors didn’t limit you too terribly much).

    Welcome to SuperCareo. I will now have to go look for an image of the garden you describe, which sounds hilarious! Thanks for visiting, and do come again soon.

  8. Fred from Loudonville, NY says:

    I wish I could inspire my neighbors to steal gardening ideas from me. A thousand plus, daffodils are about done bloom on my front and back lawns. Even though I have had them there for over fifteen years, I have not inspired many neighbors to plant them to herold spring. I had two Easter egg bushes out by the road, with over two hundred plastic eggs on them. Sad to say, I was the only one with Spring Spirit on RT9. Let’s steal each others ideas. Together we can make a visually, more beautiful world!

  9. Karen says:

    Hi, new here and looking forward to reading more. I have to disagree in a way, I think “stealing” ideas and reworking them or introducing plants you’ve seen elsewhere into your own space is totally legit. I’m not that creative by nature and I do a lot that’s unconventional, especially for my street, but I would consider it flattering and exciting if someone decided to put in veggies on the street like I do, and I often share extra plants with neighbors so in a way I’m encouraging them to “copy” me. :)

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Karen…haven’t seen you here since after the ‘Martha’ show appearance last fall, I think….nice to have you back. Of course you are right: it would be flattering. I think especially if they added a little flair of their own, not cookie-cutter copying. See you soon again.

  10. Joyce says:

    I wish there were gardens around here to inspire me. My neighbors put in a little oasis with a red maple in the middle, edged with concrete upside-down scalloped teeth.
    They like to park their cars on the lawn (even if the driveway is vacant) to add appeal. After putting in hours and hours of slave labor into my garden, I find myself daydreaming about possibilities of screening out the background. Something like real time Photoshop.

  11. Ailsa says:

    We joke around here that certain professional designs can be spotted a mile away because they use the same plants and similar versions of the same design. But if its a good idea, like the use of Serviceberry as a small ornamental tree (it’s attractive to wildlife and has four seasons of interest), or the best perennials for groundcover in dry shade, then I say, “Let ’em have it!”

  12. squirrelgardens says:

    Thanks for the chuckle today. Live in smallish midwestern city where the height of pretension is to have the Big Box store landscaper visit. Dragged some old screen doors home yesterday to place in the garden….do not think the local garden committee will deem them worthy. Pity….all mine.

  13. Cassie says:

    I was so pleased to find your blog a few months ago, Margaret! Your zone and elevation seems very similar to mine (I’m on the other side of the Berkshires in Ashfield, MA) so I feel like I’ve got a garden coach, or a perennial personal trainer to keep me in line.

    But I have to say, though I could never duplicate some of our nearest neighbor’s designs (since one is the director of the Conway School of Landscape Design, and the other is a graduate of said school), I slow down every day as I drive past, just to see what new things are popping up. It’s delicious eye candy, and good motivation to keep me on top of my own wild patch of land.

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Cassie. Well, I have no fancy landscape design here, just a very large crop of nice plants, so you can feel at home. :) Nice to meet you, and come again soon.

  14. Elana says:

    Great blog. Your photography is stunning. I especially love the picture at the top of the site, the dirty hands with the perfect flowers –there are not words to describe its beauty!

    Per my own garden, we have over the last 2 years, ripped out most of the flowers and replanted with kale, lettuce, berries, etc., anything edible. It is not beautiful in the traditional way, however to me food is a pretty thing and I like to see it growing around me. Telling the boys to go out and pick some greens for dinner (I live a 5 minute walk from downtown) is a lot of fun!

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Elana. The only boy here is Jack the Cat, and telling him anything is fruitless. But yes, food, is beautiful, too, and it is very exciting to have it growing around us. Those are my dirty hands, shot maybe 12 or 15 years ago, and they are still dirty and veiny and a mess today. Maybe worse, as I am not getting any younger. :) Thanks for your visit; you know I am an admirer of the way you cook, and your amazing recipes.

  15. This is so funny! I need to do a blog about these two houses that are across the street from each other in my neighborhood. It kind of looks like one yard is trying to copy the other, but one is beautiful and one is a complete disaster. The only way to accurately describe this is in pictures. I chuckle every time I ride by, unfortunately.

    It is maybe just bad luck that these two ended up across the street from each other? I dunno, someday I’m going to do some “investigative garden reporting” and get the real story.

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Kate. Maybe the “good” gardener has been handing down plants and advice in a neighborly way to the “not so good” gardener and has lived to regret it? :) Nice to see you, and do visit again soon.

  16. sandra says:

    Glad to find your blog. Loved reading the comments, especially the words to the neighbour: My daughter’s neighbour in England copies everything!!! At first you could say it is flattering but now it is as if she is being stalked.

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Sandra. Ha! Stalked…yes, I can imagine it would feel that way. Thanks for visiting and do come by again to say hello soon.

  17. Ross says:

    Sorry Andre, but I love stealing ideas. (and then changing them to suit what I’m doing;)

    Are there any truly original ideas anyway?

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Ross. I like to think of it as “inspired by” or “admiring and emulating” instead of “stealing.” :) Visited any great inspirations lately that you have “borrowed” from? Hope to see you soon again.

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