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Garden[ing] Ethics Moved

Perkasie, PA(Zone 6b)

I hope this works! We have moved from

Perkasie, PA(Zone 6b)

Here is what I posted at the end of the old thread:

I do want to fess up to what I have long considered a bad move: I purchased a very powerful pre-emergent product (Snapshot) and am putting it around/in the beds that have been most invaded by strange grassy weeds and thistle.

I do not think this is a good thing, but I have gotten older and have multiple forms of arthritis. So, keeping up with my younger ambitions (many beds) is getting more and more difficult. I wonder if I should just have someone come in and plow under the beds with which I cannot keep up?

I do not want to pollute the earth. And, yet, I also do not want to give up all the work I did when I was younger and healthier.

How ashamed should I be? What should I do?

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Thanks coleup!

I answered this:
Good intentions have to compete with limitations, in many areas of life if not all.

Plow under- to plant into lawn? Another ethical question in some eyes.
How about- limiting your cultivated area, bordering it with shorter beds and with shrubs, and letting the rest go wild? Or not fully wild but plowed under, planted with some well placed and chosen trees, and a thick layer of would chips over the rest? In my neighborhood, there's not much I could get away with in that way. Having big trees and mulching under them, or leaving them to the moss, is about as low maintenance as you can get here.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

I deliver newspapers to a community of retired people. It consists of individual homes, town homes and condos. Most of my customers have 'downsized' at least once and have left whatever gardens they created pre-retirement behind (One family has moved their peonies from the old house) About 30 % of those owning homes do some gardening but most use a lawn and landscape maintenance service that handles mulching and mowing, etc. Don't know of anyone who has a veggie garden though many try a tomato plant or two. Most plant the same annuals every year for color and have a container or hanging basket or two. Some miss gardening so very much but are continuing to adjust. Many would grow more hosta , but the deer keep that a foolish option. Plenty of spring flowering trees, azaleas and crepe myrtles, not too many roses. One man grows giant dahlias and loves to talk about his competition days.Much of the original landscaping is now at the point of needing removal or renewal.Every year the community sponsors bus trips to Longwood Gardens, Winterthur and the Philly Flower Show....

I write all this to say that each season, location, budget, stage of life and physical/time constraints, (a series of compromises) constitute our personal 'gardening year' with no apologies necessary! And, yes, I too am in mourning for the garden that was and the ever unfulfilled lure of the dream garden (perfection) and beating myself up and guilty for the lesser reality of the daily garden that is and the possible neglect on my part that it reveals from time to time (quite often recently, but also recently, I really don't care!) My yard is my opportunity for nature sojourn right outside my door, my woodsy retreat.

Perhaps yarden maintenance would be more productively considered as one of the best opportunities/ forms of daily exercise as recommended for all forms of arthritis and healthy living.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

In rereading my post above this am, I can summarize some strategies for Task (garden ) Overwhelm.

1)Gardening is great exercise and good for body mind and spirit.
2) Break down tasks to 15 min sessions. not weekend warrior marathons.
3) Work smarter not harder Do a little bit every day.
4) Downsize and hire help (Or trade/barter, etc)
5) Find what works for you

Still rambling here, but the idea is to reframe the overwhelm into doables. Decrease the tasks overall (plough under?), or spread out over time. Increase the hands to make the work lighter. Use best available tools/practises. Not that gardening is like my 500 plus paper route, but it would seem overwhelming to me every day to load and deliver that many papers unless my route was a route and completion and progress towards completion was visually measurable by the decrease in the size of the piles of still to be delivered papers. After 20 years, it still feels so good to pass the half way mark. And I'm almost finished moving delivery tubes to inreach locations that save wear and tare on my car and body. I'm always alert to a better less demanding way of doing my route.

One more thing, maybe you could 'out sorce' some of your garden beds by getting others to dig up free plants before you plow....or host a plant swapBYOS (bring your own shovel) and flag plants to be divided and taken.

Hope your assortment of grassy weeds will take the hint !

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I heartily second the thought of our own garden, no matter how modest, or imperfect, as a great reason to get outside and move and see something which we've nurtured, or just a surprise new bloom some days.

Warrenton, VA

Worked for me (moving the thread). Here's an idea. How about hiring someone in your neighborhood to come out and work for you? Or, how about contacting your church and putting an ad in with them for this service?

I also suggest that you might inquire at your local nursery, or even Big Box store, about having someone come out on their time off to help you out.

I want to thank Coleup for the wonderful articles and advice that are so valuable, and for encouraging the exercise. Arthritis really responds (in general) to exercise.

And, this time of year! WOW!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

"I also suggest that you might inquire at your local nursery, or even Big Box store, about having someone come out on their time off to help you out."

Good help is hard to find ,....BUT if you don't ask (possibly persistently) you may never know it was out there!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I have a general "ethics" question--not really to do with gardening.....

If I see a really pretty picture someone has posted--or a picture from one of the contests--
Is it considered unethical, or breaching someone's copyright, if i use it as a background picture
on my Desk Top?
I understand the "you may not use" --such as printing, selling, copying for other uses--
but if I just like to see it on my desktop, because I love looking at it--is that wrong?

Thanks, Gita

Warrenton, VA

Gita, contact the person and ask them, Get it in writing. And enjoy! They should be honored that you loved their picture so much, and since you are not using it for commercial purposes, there should not be a problem.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

A friend of ours, from our hobby greenhouse club, teaches horticulture classes at a local community college. We ask her to recommend any interested students that we could pay to do our watering and plant care while we were on vacation. She gave us a name and we contacted the student and things worked out well. Possibly you could find someone like that, by contacting any local vo-tech schools and colleges horticulture departments. Ric

Crozet, VA

Oh boy can I identify with over doing during when times are good. The past two and maybe three summers have seen the majority of our onced neatly maintained gardens get over run and very ugly very quickly mainly due to the extreme heats of said summers. Thankfully, most folks that I have apologized to for the run down looks of things, completely understand that some times we just cannot keep up.

Don't know if it will happen this fall, but there has been discussion of completely digging up contents of a larger front yard bed and possibly re-planting next spring. Over the years this particular bed has been ravaged in areas with sedge grass which none of our previous tries to eradicate it has worked. How discouraging to spend hours early in the season ridding each and every little weed to come back some time later and sedge grass and other strong weeds have taken over and in some cases grown taller than the plants in the bed.

I like the thoughts of those who understand that gardening is for seasons and seasons of our lives. My most involved gardening was upon first finding Dave's Garden about six or seven years ago and being diagnosed with some health issues. The time I spent gardening was time I didn't spend fretting. I accomplished more in those years than in any since.

I am with Sissy and believe that it is now officially time to let some of my less loved things go another route and only tend my very favorites from here on out. Sissy, I hope that whatever you decide to do, that it will bring you much pleasure and not too much work. I am also hoping the same for myself.


Crozet, VA

It was very interesting to read this thread again this morning and see what other folks thought and to see what I was thinking earlier in the month. I ought to make a practice of re-reading what I have written from time to time in order for the goal to begin to really stick in my mind and the next time it is time to get out and play in the dirt, I may be reminded that I was going to try and do less this year.

It is really bothersome to go outside and see the over run condition of many of the gardens. I have become a bit less stressed by it, but it is still not my ideal. So, Ruby do what you can do and leave the rest.....good words to live by.


Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

I share the more and more and more syndrome. DH told me two years ago that I was creating a monster. Hate to say it but he is right. Sometimes determination just doesn't get the job done. My mind is still dancing the night away and kicking up my heels. My body just won't cooperate. Over this past year I have been encouraging Texas Native Wildflowers in the beds. That has helped immensely. They don't do well as transplants but if you scatter the seed.....look they come. Still blooming today. I'm nuts for tropicals and have so many, so big that we covering another area of the deck so we can put up plastic sheeting walls. I tried to talk myself into giving them away but wasn't successful.

Crozet, VA

I know what you mean about getting rid of plants Lou. The only way I part with any is if I have more than three of any one type. I derive so much pleasure from their beauty and for the special show in growing they do. I become ever so excited whenever something begins to bloom for the first time. My personality through out my life has seen me become very passionate about some of my interests, only to usually lose interest shortly afterwards. Working with plants has been the most long lasting interest and I suppose that they be because some plants do such unexpected things at times, so no time to get bored with them.

I feel blessed to be a member of a group of plant enthusiasts such as ourselves.


Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

I agree.

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