If It Isn’t Pretty, Don’t Bother: It’s All About Summer Flowers

By Mary H. Dyer | June 22, 2020
by Mary H. Dyer
June 22, 2020

I was talking to some friends about dandelions lately. I don’t find them particularly troublesome and I don’t worry if they pop up in my lawn, although I always dig them out of my flower beds. I’m not sure why I consider them a weed in one place, but not in another. Anyway, it’s all about summer flowers for me this time of year”¦

Summer Ornamentals: If It Isn’t Pretty, Don’t Bother

My high school friend Jamie, who married a Jamaica woman, related the following story:

“An Auntie of ours up in Mandeville, Jamaica asked her new yard man why he had “bushed out” (removed) all the flowers and flowering shrubs in her beds. He responded, “It cyan’ heat.” (meaning none of the plants produced edible fruit or vegetables)

My friend Susie commented that her husband would agree, “If you can’t eat it, don’t bother.”

I’m just the opposite – if it isn’t pretty, don’t bother. I like growing summer flowers much more than fruits and vegetables. It’s not that I don’t like fruits and vegetables; I actually love them, but I would rather spend the money and buy them at a farmer’s market. That way, I can devote my time, energy, and space to growing summer flowers. The only exception would be tomatoes. Absolutely nothing is better than homegrown tomatoes!

Part of my reasoning for not growing edibles is that I try to coexist with deer as much as possible, or at least that’s my goal. I’ve discovered a number of flowers that they don’t like, and I can use liquid fence or a water-activated sprinkler around a few tasty flowers (and tomatoes) that I just MUST grow, but otherwise, I find it nearly impossible to keep them from eating fruit and vegetables. To me, it just isn’t worth the trouble.

The only fruit growing dependably in my garden are two rhubarb plants that I inherited from the previous owner. They provide enough rhubarb for me and several friends. I’m thinking it might be time to try a few gooseberry bushes. Pretty sure they’re a sure thing!

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  • Robyn
    Comment added July 11, 2021Reply

    In this extreme heat. do we need to water all our plants twice a day by drip system. I usually water 7am. And 7pm?
    Should I try anything different? We have had high temps 108 degrees.

  • Allison
    Comment added July 13, 2020Reply

    Have you eaten them before? To me, they are not worth it. The flavor is at best, ehh... They have bad thorns and get decimated by some sort of sawfly every year.

  • J M Sunny Sonnheim
    Comment added July 12, 2020Reply

    Gooseberries have vicious thorns!

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