Experiencing horti-psychological whiplash

Watch as the German Landscape Architect Bettina Jaugstetter reframes my thinking about successional planting. I go on about what Christopher Lloyd taught me, then Bettina, having listened attentively, gently offers an alternative approach. Then she rattles my assumptions about irrigation. THEN, once I think I’ve caught up, she further rattles the new position I’ve only just assumed.

I may look gathered on the surface, but underneath I’m experiencing horti-psychological whiplash. Bring it on!

Discussion

  1. Wow! What an interesting conversation!
    I have had nearly 90 people visit my garden Highcroft, over the past 2 days . Our dam dried in December and the garden has had no water for 5 months. Visitors commented on how delighted they were to find plants that not only survive the drought conditions, but are flourishing. Amazed too that there is such a variety of plants from the Mediterranean that can be used and not just natives which can cope with our very dry conditions.
    I made the decision to go down the drought tolerant planting’s 9 years ago when I first started my garden from a bare donkey paddock. The drought has just emphasised how important deep watering ( when you have the water) and mulching to keep the moisture in the soil and to cool the soil really is.
    Thank you for sharing Michael.
    My garden blog is on Facebook …
    Highcroft Garden
    Best wishes
    Maureen Highet

    1. Hi Maureen, I’m glad you found that engaging, as did I. I can’t recall another time when such a brief discussion was so dense with really rich ideas and information. Sounds like I must see your garden some time! Personally, I think there’s been loads of talk about drought tolerant plants, but not nearly enough about how to use these plants really effectively to create irresistible gardens!

  2. Your messages give hope Michael…my little garden that I started establishing just 6 months ago has struggled with S A’s extreme summer. It has taught me a little about which plants can survive without a lot of water but Bettina’s message has given me inspiration to try harder, to be more selective about what I plant and to water even less..

  3. Love this conversation, it made me think! Where I design – in hot dry (mostly sandy) Perth – we are ‘allowed’ two waterings a week 9 months if the year. It is a harsh climate in which to garden and I guess we really rely a lot on trees to make a garden more able to thrive and survive.
    As a designer, I am aiming now to try using tougher, native and Mediterranean plants to get by on only one watering a week from late spring to early autumn. It’s a tough gig in 38C plus temps with largely gutless sandy soil.
    But I think possible given the right plant palette. Which, I must admit is a big experiment as I think we have gotten pretty lazy with our two waterings a week restrictions. The local native plants can’t believe their luck getting irrigated so well!

    I really admire your humility in this post, Michael. I must admit that even though I have been a garden designer for nearly 20 years, I often learn things from beginner gardeners! ? Thanks for a thought provoking post. ?

  4. Thankyou, Michael, I enjoyed this conversation, it made me think.
    Where I design – in hot dry (mostly sandy) Perth – we are ‘allowed’ two waterings a week 9 months if the year. It is a harsh hot climate in which to garden and I guess we really rely a lot on trees to make a garden more able to thrive and survive.
    As a designer, I am aiming now to try using tougher, native and Mediterranean plants to get by on only one watering a week from late spring to early autumn.
    But I think it’s possible, given the right plant palette. Which, I must admit is a big experiment as I think Perth has gotten pretty lazy and complacent with our two waterings a week ‘restrictions’. The local native plants can’t believe their luck getting irrigated so well!

    I really admire your humility in this post, Michael. I must admit that even though I have been a garden designer for nearly 20 years, I often learn things from beginner gardeners! ? Thanks for a thought provoking post. ?

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