Size: 33 x 13 feet
Age: 6 years
Bio: MrBrownThumb is the most famous, unknown American garden blogger you haven't heard of. He authors a handful of blogs that are related to gardening. His two main blogs are; the eponymous MrBrownThumb and Chicago Garden, both read by tens of people. He believes in the free exchange of information and that gardening isn't hard.
Type of garden: Front yard, some container gardening and indoor gardening.
Inspiration: Public plantings. I used to get inspiration from magazines and such, but then I realized that was like people who read a lot of fashion mags. Eventually, they begin to hate themselves because they don't look like the people on the covers. That's what was happening with my garden--it didn't look anything like the mags. Still doesn't, actually. I've been thinking a lot about this recently and If a garden follows some kind of plan or scheme, I don't think I have a "garden." What I do have is a bit of an ecosystem where plants, haphazardly placed, attract bugs and birds. Sometimes I make bugs fight, like in this YouTube video where I placed a lady bug on some poppy seed heads that were being attacked by aphids.
Favorite plant: That's hard question because the favorite designation changes all the time. This week I'm really LOVING my cranesbill geraniums. They were something like 5 bucks at Home Depot a few years ago and I always "hated" them because they were boring and cheap. They've filled out a lot and are blooming like crazy. I saw someone decorate a trade booth recently with nothing but cranesbill geranium blooms and foliage and it looked spectacular. It made me see them in a different light. Generally, I'd have to say that my favorite blooms come from bulbs.
Biggest challenge: Overcoming my laziness.
What your friends say: I don't let friends visit my garden. See above about the shame of not looking like a the cover of a mag.
Biggest embarrassment: My soil. It is really dry clay. When it dries there are these fissures that develop on the surface of the soil that are inches deep. I really only amend in places that I plant something. I figure if I plant in every square inch, eventually everything will be amended. Also, I don't mulch-- which makes the poor soil very noticeable. Ever have a gangbanger point out to you that your garden looks "dry?" I have. They can't tell you why it looks dry, but they can definitely tell that something is off.
Proudest DIY: Just starting a garden outdoors. It aint much to look at but I'm pretty proud of the fact that I took over what was a sad-looking lawn and made it into a sad-looking garden.
Biggest indulgence: Plants. No, really. Buying plants is pretty indulgent if you ask me. Think about what you could be doing instead with that money. Or, think about how easy it is to propagate plants from seeds and cuttings and buying plants seems like such a crazy notion.
Best advice: Start from seeds and cuttings. If you're just starting out make friends with a gardener and get some free plants. The origins of my garden are a long and convoluted mess. But one day I came home and found that someone had given my mom two nearly wild rose bushes and some annuals. Guess who had to plant them? Then I made this online gardening friend who passed on a bunch of daylilies and bulbs and things just kept growing from there.
Dream Source: My dream source would have to be seed companies. I like Renee's Garden, Seed Savers Exchange, Landreth Seeds, Baker Creek and Kitazawa.
Resources: Public plantings. They're great places to "shop" for cuttings and seeds. If you can only afford to shop at big box garden centers, then do it. Nothing wrong with gardening within your means. Lately farmers markets and flea markets seem to be places I'm hitting up a lot in search of plants.
Don't forget to leave a comment to let MrBrownThumb know what you liked (or didn't. I was a little creeped out by that bug video!) And if you would like to participate in virtual garden tours, please email me at myskinnygarden (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks for participating, MBT!
grow, marvel, eat, laugh, persevere