Of Slow Cooker Wisdom And Simple Garden Plans

“Knowledge is the process of piling up facts;  wisdom lies in their simplification.”

Martin H. Fischer, Physician and Author

• • •

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 8.51.47 AMWE SPENT MOST of this past warm and beautiful spring weekend working in the garden.

My goal, influenced by the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook , is to have what I’ve come to call a slow cooker garden.

A space filled with variety, but put together in a way that is simple to understand.  Pleasant to look at, but requiring less and less effort each year to maintain.

That is, we’re going to fix it now with perennials, paths and stones;  then forget about changing anything out there for the next decade.

• • •

SO WHAT HAVE we got going on?  Well, we’ve got:

  • a plethora of roses + daisies + hostas in planting beds beside stone and/or concrete steps that circle the house;
  • a landscape island in the front yard near the street filled with grasses and mostly purple flowers;
  • a newly installed dry faux creek bed under the deck;  AND
  • a lower terrace in the back yard down by the woods that features stone steps, grasses, roses plus the recent addition of difficult-to-find milkweed.  *yeah*

• • •

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 9.15.17 AMI’M NOT SURE how our garden ended up being so multi-faceted and unique, but over the years, little by little, it did.

My hope is that when it comes time to sell this property, like the HGTV show CURBAPPEAL suggests, the awe-inspiring exterior of the property will be so amazing that this house’s relatively small square footage won’t hinder a sale.

However, be that as it may, in the mean time, I’m not worrying about real estate business-y things like ROI.  Instead, I’m going to groove on all that we have going on in our pretty, pretty garden.

• • •

So tell me, gentle readers: how does your garden grow?

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Usually.

44 thoughts on “Of Slow Cooker Wisdom And Simple Garden Plans”

  1. Mine grows in other people’s yards ;-). At least for now. I’m somewhat of a gypsy so don’t have any yard space to call my own. If I ever end up with a yard, then I too wish to surround it with low maintenance type flowers and native plants. I’d also like to do some potted veggies and herbs so that I can eventually stop spending the extra dollars on “organic” veggies at the grocery store.

    As to your curb appeal, will there be pictures on your blog soon to show the beauty that is now your yard? 🙂

    Like

    1. Satin Sheet Diva, we didn’t have a yard to mess around in for years, so now that we do I’m all about the garden. Or at least, I’m all about it this year.

      We have a few herbs/vegetables growing in pots on the deck. You’re right, they’re a great alternative to buying them at the store.

      Hope that you get your garden someday soon. You’ll have fun with it, I’m sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope we’ll get to see pictures of your garden. Sounds lovely! As for the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook, I have that. I love it, though I haven’t used it for a while. There are some great slow-cooker soup recipes in it.

    Like

    1. Carrie, I think that when you get married it’s a law that you receive a copy of the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook! I haven’t used it in years either… but I have it… somewhere.

      I’ll post some pictures of the outside when the roses + daisies bloom. Right now our garden is more hope than happening.

      Like

  3. I love the idea of having a fix it and forget it attitude. That’s basically what we have here in our whole yard. We have no grass, but many trees, flowering shrubs and flowers. We have blueberry bushes, raspberry bushes and a gogi berry (SP?) bush. We also planted just 2 tomato plants, one cherry tomato and one big boy. We have many knockout roses, iris, peony, hydrangea, hibiscus, day lilies, canas, elephant ears daisies and just begonias in pots. I love the colors! Looking forward to your pictures.

    Like

    1. Beth, your garden sounds great! Very southern. All those different plants have to make for a constant source of color and interest. Plus having some food bushes mixed in there must be fun, too. But no grass? Really? Now that’s different. You won’t see that often up here in the north.

      Like

  4. I’m with you. Our teensy back yard is nothing but garden. And we have nothing but Fix It And Forget It back there: decorative shrubbery, trees, perennials, and a small pond. If the hard winter knocks something out, we replace it with whatever is compatible. Out front, same deal, except that we do have a front yard to mow. (In about ten minutes.) I hang a couple of brilliant red geraniums on the porch and that’s it.

    Now, I do have a herb garden and a couple of tomato and jalapeno/cayenne plants, but that’s also quite small and manageable. I don’t want the bother of hauling a hose all over the place and watering annuals; they’re fickle and worky. (Retired, you know!)

    Like

    1. nance, I enjoy gardening like this. It’s simple in a way that goes with the flow and accepts the inevitable winter damage. I used to fuss with making all the planting beds matchy-matchy, but now… whatever. Plus, like you said, it’s less worky.

      [Or more wormy. A word that autocorrect seems to want me to use here in this comment.]

      Like

  5. Garden? In 6 years here, my gardening success has amounted to having exactly one sunflower grow out (I’m not counting the tulips the previous owner planted). I was always much better growing gourd plants when I was a kid by throwing out the seeds from the ones we’d get each Halloween the following Spring. Boy do they grow like wildfire!

    Like

    1. evilsquirrel13, I’ve never tried to grow gourds! But now that you mention it, I might try it. I’ll toss some seeds out there and we’ll see what happens. Of course, if squirrels get to the seeds before they sprout… no gourds for me!

      Like

      1. They are quite fun, and relatively low maintenance plants. You just gotta make sure you’ve got plenty of room for the plants to grow…

        I have seeds from last year’s pumpkin in my kitchen cabinet still, but doubt I’ll ever try to plant them. I’m not worried about the squirrels so much as the city crew that comes out to clean the ditch every month or so, hauling wheelbarrows full of muck across my yard to the waiting dump truck out front. Having vines growing all over the place would not be a good idea…

        Like

  6. We have been slowly pulling out high maintenance plants and replacing with easy and deer proof. At my last house which had a small yard I had a large deck so I pulled out all the grass in the back, made paths and allowed shrubs and groundcover to take over. Loved it. No mowing. With the right groundcover (I swear by pachysandra — nothing grows through it in our area) you don’t have to weed. Last weekend I made the worst ever crock pot meal. Mostly I love them but I used a cut of beef that wasn’t tasty and didn’t get tender. It’s grill time anyhow.

    Like

    1. Kate, we just planted more pachysandra around back in an area that doesn’t allow grass to grow. I agree with you, the stuff is amazing. I’m finding that as we get rid of each high maintenance plant, I’m feeling happier. This garden re-do has been going on for a few years now, but this year will be the year when it’s all finished.

      I hate it when a crock pot meal doesn’t work. I’ve had the same problem with lousy meat– which leads to a blah, tough meal. The disappointment is so real after smelling the food cook all day. 😦

      Like

      1. Yes and I made my poor husband eat it. I did make a totally new sauce and put just the meat chopped up in it for a noodle dish and that worked but I will be throwing out the rest. Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets the lousy crockpot dish.

        Like

  7. I love the idea of a fix it and forget it garden! Whether it’s flowers or vegetables, that’s what I aim for – as little maintenance as possible. The beds and such around here have gone to the weeds but perhaps someday.

    Like

    1. Zazzy, a few years ago our planting beds were a mess, too. There were weeds– and then after a weird drought-y summer, there were all sorts of dead fancy [expensive] plants. Losing all the fancy plants at once made me realize that I wanted to have an indigenous easy garden plan. And so started my push towards a slow cooker garden!

      Like

  8. Everything seems to be growing at once as soon as Spring arrives, doesn’t it? Suddenly the daffodils are in bloom followed by the tulips and dogwood trees. We go from having nothing to do in the garden to having too much to do in the garden! But it’s all wonderful 🙂

    Thanks for following me on twitter which led me to your blog!

    Like

    1. Letizia, thanks for stopping by to check out the blog and to comment. I agree with you about Spring. Seems like yesterday was Winter and I was complaining about being bored, but now there’s so much gardening to do that I don’t know where to start! Of course, having no plan has never stopped me. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Slow cooker gardening is the perfect perfect term. Yard need time to simmer and season over a few years – to try things on and adjust as needed. There’s a solidness and comfortable fit that even the most elaborate brand new landscapes can’t match (those often die shortly because the plants aren’t in the right spot or don’t fit the area long term…but the yard people got mature plants and it looked great for a bit…and the check cleared..)
    Rocks and dry river beds are such a great addition adding texture and line. (I hauled so much rock at out last house – the yard was gorgeous and it did pull people pass a few house blemishes. This year the yard is in a holding pattern without much change until we decide whether we are going or staying…(only able to haul just so much rock at this point)

    Like

    1. philmouse, you nailed it with “…and the check cleared.” So many people around here have no idea what is indigenous to the area, so these landscaping companies come in and sell them “a pig in a poke” style garden. It doesn’t last.

      I hadn’t thought of it before, but you’re right about the dry creek bed adding texture to the backyard. Seeing it makes me laugh because it’s absurd for it to be under the deck BUT I love it. So simple and cool when it’s hot and humid outside.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I like a mix of perennials and annuals because I love variety. Most of my perennials bloom for such a limited amount of time.However, annuals are a LOT of work, especially in a dry summer. Nothing better than the colorful blooms all summer(and fall) long though. The only veggie I grow is the tomato because garden grown ones are addictive, especially the sweet cherry ones.

    Like

    1. Margaret, we have a few annuals [geraniums + zinnias] in pots so there’s variety out there. But like you said, they’re a lot of work to maintain– and I’m getting lazier each year. I agree about the cherry tomatoes. I try to grow them each summer and sometime I even get to eat some of them… when the squirrels don’t chow down on them first. Idiot squirrels.

      Like

  11. I love gardens, especially community gardens, which I love to photograph. My (patio) gardens were more successful in CA many years ago. In the FL heat/humidity, riddled with every bug imaginable in our yard, I find landscaping much more do-able than gardening, though I do dabble with tomatoes or herbs once in a while. 😊

    Like

    1. RobinLK, I can imagine how the humidity could take the fun out of gardening. Some summers we deal with it here, but usually there are enough low humidity days to make all the effort to pretty-ify the yard worth it! I’ve got a pot of tomatoes and a few herbs growing up on the deck. They’ll be great if the squirrels don’t get to them before I do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ally Bean, watch those squirrels! They’re cute critters, but how they love tomatoes! Ha! Have a great day! Thanks for stopping by RobinLK. I’m waiting at the tire store this morning and had time to read, reply, and discover new blogging friends. I’m following you now. 😊

        Like

    1. robin, there’s nothing pretty to photography right now. We’re too early in the spring season for any color or growth. BUT when all of this gardening work comes to fruition later in the year, I’ll post photos ad naseum.

      Like

  12. We have a small brick patio out back, and another out front. We live in a townhome, so no real yard. Also, no water. I have a lot of mis-matched plants, some in pots, some in the border areas. Our neighbors have eucalyptus trees, which drop their acidic leaves all over the place. It’s kinda sucky. I kind of wish that back when we moved in, we had more of a plan, because our yard was almost bare then. But for now, I just try to keep the poor plants alive through the dryness of it all.

    Like

    1. J, we lived in a townhome at one time and I remember how tricky it was to make it look good. Our problem was too much shade, but like you I did all sorts of pots of stuff around. Mismatched can look lovely! I don’t know how I’d react to your water problems, though. Sounds like you’ve found the perfect plants for the situation.

      Like

  13. “Fix It & Forget It” is a great idea for a garden.

    Most of the landscaping around our place is maintained by the HOA. Yay! All we have to do is manage the small courtyard.

    Like

    1. nrhatch, once upon a time we lived in a condo where we had a cute little courtyard of our own– and the rest of the area was maintained by the HOA. It was fun and easy. Am hoping that when this property is all finished, it’ll be fun… and maybe sort of easy.

      Like

Comments are closed.