Muddy Waters: Clarifying the Challenge

IMG_5749Further to my last post and the all the fascinating comments people have left about it, I thought an update would helpful to answer some of the questions that have come up rather than to each individually. Yes, I will still be sowing seeds and probably buying them too, I have not yet dabbled in cuttings but perhaps this would be the time to do so (if  more of a certain plant was really needed) and yes, I would accept plants from blogging friends. Bulbs? Hmm, like seeds some are more of an annual ‘consumable’ so in theory would not count as ‘plants’ – however, although I have already ordered next year’s bulbs I might, just to add piquancy to the challenge, resist ordering as usual next year…

What the challenge will definitely do is make me more selective and remind me of the distinction between ‘want’ and ‘need’, between ‘like’ and ‘must have’, and curb the desire to have abundance NOW instead of allowing the garden to mature at its own pace. It may encourage me to begin to take cuttings and increase plants that way, and will most muddy.blogcertainly nudge me into attempting perennials and tricky annuals like petunias from seed. Indeed, it may turn out to be quite liberating – freeing me from perusing the plant sales area of every garden we visit and enabling me to gently refuse offers of plants because I haven’t got a spot available for them rather than squeezing newcomers into tight corners.

Still, it’s only September, and a lot more plant buying could take place before 2016 – but, already mindful of the challenge, I suspect it won’t. And just to show how I like a good challenge, here is Elder Daughter and myself after completing the 5K Pretty Muddy Race for Life at Windsor yesterday…

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16 Responses to Muddy Waters: Clarifying the Challenge

  1. Helen Johnstone says:

    And there was me going to offer you a plant tomorrow, just as you don’t offer someone on a diet a cake, I will be good and not offer you a plant ☺️

  2. johnvic8 says:

    Oh, Cathy. When one starts to dabble in definitions, I can only conclude the the flesh is getting weaker and weaker. I think I’ll put my money on the Golfer.

  3. 5k!!!! I’m very impressed!

  4. Anna says:

    I’m reassured to read that it’s just ‘new plants’ that you are steering clear of but where would a snowdrop bulb from a friend fit in the equation Cathy? Well done to you and Elder Daughter on those muddy knees!

  5. Ken Druse has a wonderful book (my bible) called MAKING MORE PLANTS. Sounds perfect for your challenge.

  6. Christina says:

    I sometimes buy a plant just for propagating from (a recent purchase was a French lavender). Because autumn is the ONLY time when it is safe to plant anything here if I want it to survive I find that very fact curbs any plant buying at other times of year. I think you will find propagation by cuttings very rewarding and I find it can be easier than growing seeds.After buying all the new plants for the redesign I may have to join you in the challenge in 2016 if I am to remain solvent!

  7. Sam says:

    Good on you for doing the Race for Life!

  8. homeslip says:

    I have full confidence in you Cathy. I can tell that once you put your mind to something you will see it through. Well done on your run, that looked like it was pretty heavy going in Windsor Great Park?

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Couldn’t possibly join you – I’m a sucker for a garden plant sale – but I wish you much good luck for the coming year. Congratulations on your run … hope there was some benefits from the mud bath 🙂

  10. Julie says:

    You are certainly one for a challenge Cathy! Well done on completing the 5k with added mud – are you going to keep the running up? As for a year without plants – that really is a challenge. I tried a year without buying books on the basis that I should reread what I already own more regularly, but I have to say that, as with chocolate, knowing I couldn’t buy a book made me want them more, so I succumbed a few months in. I fear it would be the same with plants, although I have been making a conscious effort to reduce my plant buying this year for the same reason that you mentioned – there comes a point when it makes sense to let the garden mature without too much tweaking. As you know I am still buying bulbs and seeds, but apart from a few spring purchases and a couple of roses in the summer I have been very restrained this year. My money is on you in this challenge – I really don’t think the Golfer has any hope of winning – although his challenge probably will result in substantial savings next year, so perhaps he will win via the back door so to speak.

    • Cathy says:

      You are one of the few who believe I will do it Julie – thanks you! As for the running, I do other fitness things these days but don’t run regularly, although the Golfer and I met through veteran athletics

  11. Now is always the right time to buy new plants; propagating from cuttings does give you the currency you need to barter with fellow gardeners…Love that you ran with your daughter, that is such a precious experience.

  12. Reckon you could sow a few seeds in the mud on your trousers!
    Rather envious of the activity as I am nursing a broken ankle.

    • Cathy says:

      Broken ankle?! Oh no! So sorry to hear that – not sure what I would do if I had to have a period of physical inactivity… 😦 I would have to find SOME sort of exercise I could do… How long will you be incapacitated with it?

      • About 6 weeks and I am on day 19. I am able to weight bear on it now and can potter about a bit. Lack of exercise and I feel as if everything has seized up. Very annoying. Lots of patience required.

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