Girls Write Out
Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We're putting in some landscaping in a few weeks, as soon as our porch redo is completed. I'm the world's worst gardener. I am terrified of spiders, and you know what we find in gardens, right? Spiders. But I know the new plants are going to need some tending, even though we asked for low maintenance ones. I'm getting a Japanese maple and (drum roll please) TWO, count 'em, TWO PMJ rhododendrons. I adore rhododendrons and azaleas, but every single one I've ever had has died. We're having the nursery do the planting though, and they guarantee the plants for two years when they do the work. 

I'm getting day lilies and lots of roses too. Since we have a Victorian home, the designer tried to pick plants that would go with the high foundation and old architecture of the house. I'm excited to see it all done, but a little nervous too. I'm going to have to take care of those thing. But isn't that what growth is all about? Confronting your fears and learning new skills? So I'm going to try to look at the garden as a new challenge. I can do this, right? Those spiders are way smaller than me. They should not cause such abject terror. 

But I need advice. Are there any tools that are especially helpful when gardening? I'm old, remember. I wondered if there was something i could scoot around on-plus it might help me zoom out of the way of a wolf spider! Shudder. I don't suppose anyone knows of a spider repellent? :)  I know there are plenty of avid gardeners out there. Give me some advice! 

Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:44 AM  
  Comments (15)
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At 11:12 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

Okay, I'm the worst gardener ever, so I have no advice. Only where's the picture so we can get a sense of what needs to happen? You know, for the real gardeners out there.

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Oh good idea! I'll do that. LOL

At 3:41 PM, Blogger dandelionfleur said...

I can not help you--I'm the world's second worse gardener!

At 3:41 PM, Blogger jel said...

gloves, hat, a small spade,get some miracle grow plant food.
that stuff really works :)

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I"m the first, dandelion. LOL

I've heard about Miracle Grow but have never tried it. Thanks, Jel!

At 3:56 PM, Blogger Katie Dell said...

step 2 plastic yard cart, you can scoot around and keep some tools in it, like a small hand shovel, and hand rake, and maybe a bottle of plant food like miracle grow. And small hand pruners by fiskars I like. Hope that helps!

At 4:01 PM, Blogger Kathy Rowe said...

I haven't tried it yet, but wondered if one of those seats the mechanics roll around on would work. There's one in my mom's garage that is just sitting there.
There are small hand held tools to use for gardening, a type of spade, fork and pruning shears that are really helpful. Miracle grow is wonderful and if you can find it, it comes with weed control too.
As for spiders, I've been researching and found that using eucalyptus leaves are a natural repellent and smell good as well. You can use them indoors as well.

At 4:31 PM, Blogger GardeningPro said...

for your new rhodies I have a great fertilizer/mulch that is great for them.In the fall when the leaves fall off the oak trees mulch it into the ground around your rhodies and they will love you for years to come.As for small hand tools the types and kinds are kind of endless best to stick with ones that have comfort grips and are warrantied. Do not get a mechanics stool as it will not roll around well in the yard, they are made for cement.Try to find a Natural growth booster as your little birds and worms will thank you.Most of all remember to prune once a year typically spring or fall,and renew ground mulch like pine bark yearly or biyearly, depending on how much mulch is already on the ground.. Best of Luck from a True Gardener...

At 4:39 PM, Blogger Mary-Louise said...

I'm with you on the spiders thing.


This is what I do: I wear gardening gloves. That way NOTHING touches my skin, and I can garden away, which for me currently means, trying not to kill three geraniums.

Having said that, I don't live anywhere near poisonous spiders, so I would recommend the SAS Survival Handbook (John Wiseman), it has lots of tips on what to do in case you get bitten.

Hope that helps. (lol)

At 4:45 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Thanks for the great tips, friends! And Mary-Louise, we don't typically see poisonous spiders. Wolf spiders aren't poisonous but they are UGLY!! There are brown recluse in Indiana but I've never seen one. And I hope NEVER to see one!

GardeningPro, do you have a website?

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Mary-Louise said...

Too bad about the wolf spiders not being poisonous: the survival handbook is a really interesting read, like what if you're caught on the open ocean facing a survival situation. What would you do then? It'd be really good if you'd already read the book. No?

Aside from looking up web information about plants, I would say talk to a local nursery for information about your plants. Keep in mind that local soil acidity, amount of sun light, hardness of the water and daytime temperatures and humidity all factor into a plant's survival. Local nurseries or gardening centers are one of the other places to find information relevant to your plants. And gardeners are kind of like authors; they love to talk 'shop'.

I am looking forward to some pictures of the lovely plants that are about to invade your life...

At 9:46 PM, Blogger Ruth Smith said...

60 is not old Colleen!

At 7:54 AM, Blogger Natalie said...

Hi C!
I do a little gardening, mostly herbs, but I'm terrified of critters too. One thing I do is rustle the plants a few times before I put my head in the leaves. You never know what might run out! We have bunnies in our yard and while they aren't scary, it's terrifying to have your nose down to the ground and have an animal dart out next to you! Rustling the bushes also gives any snakes the chance to be on their way!

Love you! Nat.

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Nat, I'm glad I'm not alone! :) That's a GREAT idea to rustle them out of there before I plunge in. LOL Thanks for the tip! Love you, girl!

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Gloves, definitely gardening gloves. And a good pair of cutters.

When I first moved in to my house, eons ago, I did some gardening and got scabies form the dirt. That ended my gardening.

Now I have uber low maintenance stuff. I don't even have to water here in Georgia. But I do have to prune, thus the gloves and good cutters. :)

I'm going to step out in faith like you are, though, and plant some large pots with annuals.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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