Urban Garden Denver Blog

Gardening personalities

I’ve come to realize that my garden space is a reflection of my personality. Just like personality-type assessments, one isn’t better than another, but there are clear differences. For example, I’m a planner, so most of my garden reflects blooms that require some advance thinking. The bulbs that I am enjoying now were planted last fall, or even several years ago in the fall. I did recently plant some pansies (the left-overs from my Easter baskets), but the pansies that are providing the best color and fullness are the ones I planted last fall.

Snow survivors have short stems

The rest of my summer and fall blooms rely heavily on perennials, which are a long-term commitment in the garden, reaching their potential after a couple of years. Perennials also do better if they are planted in the season opposite their bloom time. For example, fall mums should be planted in the spring. Spring and early summer bloomers like salvias are best planted in the fall.

While it is unlikely that I will change my gardening personality, I might branch out a little this summer. I might be more spontaneous, putting in a few annuals that catch my fancy at the nursery, just because, not as part of some grand scheme. Except I am still doing this within my planning personality, because I am already thinking about a May/June activity in April!

Another aspect of gardening personality is how much attention to devote to evaluation. Part of the learning process of gardening is seeing what works and what could be improved. In recent years, I have favored bulbs that produce shorter stems and flowers closer to the ground. The prevalence of spring snows in Colorado means that the tall flowers are more likely to break and may not bounce back from a spring snow.

Snow on Daffodils

I still have some tall daffodils in my garden that were planted a number of years ago, but the short varieties have been more resilient after spring snows and each year I have planted more bulbs with short stalks.

Tall Daffodils break with spring snows

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