Although I haven’t exactly reached my (entirely too lofty) goals for gardening this year, it’s always a joy to get outside among the flowers and herbs. Most of my ideas have already been tabled for next year, which only means I’ll have something to look forward to this winter and have also learned a valuable lesson in planning ahead.
It wasn’t until we bought our house that all of the gardening articles I’ve written and my thousand re-readings of The Secret Garden really began to click. All of a sudden, I had very ambitious plans for adding roses and herbs and growing a tremendous amount of vegetables. I’m not a very patient person by nature and Instagram/blogging are all about immediate gratification, so gardening is a good reminder of the value of slowing down.
It’s also a good reminder of learning to work with what I have. Of course I wish I could plant everything I come across in coffee table books and articles rather than accepting the limitations of our large shade tree (which is great for keeping us cool), the amount of time I can devote to pruning, and the size of our city lot. In the end, I would rather have beautiful partial-shade flowers than peaky-looking full-sun varieties because I was being stubborn.
Primarily, I have herbs right now. The front flowerbed is looking a bit sparse – it didn’t get planted because it was part of a stalled project (thanks, contractor shortage) – and it’s currently dominated by Asiatic lilies that have already bloomed. I’ve grown herbs since childhood, which is probably the reason they’re my favorite thing to grow.
I love keeping the gardens in shape, but I break out in awful hives as soon as I look at the outdoors. Shorts and short sleeves won’t work for me, but unfortunately, the peak gardening months are by nature hot. Allergies aside, I prefer long sleeves and long pants to avoid thorns and insect bites.
Light-colored clothing in natural fibers is an absolute must. I took the blog/IG photos on a 96-degree day and wasn’t too horribly uncomfortable in this attire. Linen is my preferred shirt fabric with cotton trousers. My favorite trousers for working outdoors are from Orvis – I have full-length and cropped versions both earmarked for gardening. They’re extremely durable, but breathable enough for heavy outdoor work. My exact ones aren’t listed on their site currently, but I’ve linked similar pairs.
I just wear my old, past-their-prime linen blouses. These can easily be found secondhand, too. I’ve never worn a hat to garden, but am considering adding a straw hat to the mix.
The Hunter gardening clogs are the absolute best! My husband has a matching pair of the men’s clogs. We are well on track to becoming an eldery Cotswolds couple, and I told him to change his name to Maurice (pronounced Morris, of course). Kidding aside, these shoes are extremely comfortable and durable. I can’t say enough good things about the Hunter gardening clogs.
For whatever reason, my fingers constantly punch holes through the tips of work gloves. Said fingers are crossed for the longevity of this pair from Womanswork.