A Xeric Gardener with a philosophy is a gardener with a mission. I feel quite strongly about my organic garden, and aim always to better my systems, routines and tasks.
I believe that we can all garden well, even with few inputs such as money and an endless supply of water.
I use recycled materials, salvage tools, acquire useful items to be used in the xeric garden for cheap or free and compost, compost, compost.
In fact, I've been referred to variously as 'the compost queen', 'the leaf lady' and 'woman-of-many-twigs', and the latest - 'antler lady' from a kind person sending me their found antlers for crafts.
Rustic is a love and appreciation for anything old. It doesn’t have to be antique, but rusty, banged up, with character and showing its age.
It can also be fake age, that’s fine too. Driftwood pieces salvaged from a storm, diamond willow handles on a box for planting succulent plants in, anything handmade or remade from a found item, and especially anything with flaking paint.
I value making something out of nothing, and spotting that diamond in the rough that no-one else sees. It's like a treasure hunt!
I have many items that I pick up at junk stores, garage sales or thrift stores which are seemingly of very little value, but I recycle them into something unique and funky for my home or garden.
Colour is very important too - especially blue.
That would explain the farm name - Blue Fox Farm.
In this climate that I live in, there is a regular progression of seasons; cool springs, dry warm summers, long dry falls after a spell of autumn rains, then a snowy cold winter.
It’s the best of all worlds, as the changing of the seasons is never boring, and there’s always something of interest in my garden (or garden room, as I call the succulents' overwintering abode).
Having said that, there is a dark side as you probably know.
I may not be able to always count on having the seasons progress nicely one behind the other. In fact, it seems to already be changing to more rainfall events, even through the winter. Where before there would be a consistent snow-pack, now it’s more and more apparent that there will be rain on top of the snow, or ice rain, which is even more treacherous.
Even the scientists can’t give us much in the way of guidelines, and the unknown is a challenge to all xeric gardeners.
Organic is my lifestyle. I have a strong bond with nature in my garden.
Where I garden now is the very first garden I've built that has never been touched; apart from a trailer pad and a septic system being installed, it’s a clean slate. As far as I know, no-one has ever used pesticides or chemicals on it.
I’ve always gardened organically; it just came naturally the moment I opened up my first Rodale magazine. I’ve never looked back. I never even think wistfully of gardening any other way. My mantra is ‘observe, then observe again, then act if it still needs it.’ This way I can see the life processes occurring, and usually the best treatment for a problem is to get out of the way and let the expert, Mother Nature, take it in hand.
In these times of scams, con artists, unethical dealings and the anonymity of the internet, I refuse to deal that way. In all my conversations and contact with my visitors and customers I deal fairly and honestly.
I have strong personal beliefs, first and foremost is the one about 'what goes around, comes around'.
I love to see new gardeners, or even experienced gardeners getting excited and inspired by new ideas and unusual plants, and start finding out unique ways to use them in crafts, different combinations to plant in rustic containers and I encourage that. My promise to you is to always be up front and down to earth.