4 Garden myths and 1 garden poem

Garden Myths and garden nymphs

Garden myths are many, garden nymphs not so many. I'd  surely rather be a garden nymph, than a garden myth, any day. Although garden myths at times can be gospel, garden nymphs are significantly a lot more valuable to your garden. With this in mind, I want to specifically debunk 4 garden myths, I have heard frequently over time.

4 GArden Myths

MYTH 1 - ROCKS ASSIST drainage

Rocks on the bottom of pot, planter or container, with or without drainage holes, DO NOT assist in drainage! If anything they make it worse by blocking up drainage holes so water cannot escape, and by aiding water to collect and make soil soggy in a hole less pot. The only time I would ever use rocks in a container, is in a terrarium where a false bottom must be created to support the environment and plant display, which is watered very differently from a plant in a pot. I've noticed anyone who uses rocks of any size in the bottom of their pots, have terrible looking plants.


MYTh 2 - dividing perennials only in the spring and fall

Sometimes nature calls and it just ain't the right time. Yes, it is ideal to divi up perennials in the spring, to give the roots time to establish before the summer heat sets in, or in the fall before the plant goes into dormancy. In the case that you're required to divide up a perennial out of season, create shade for the plant for a few weeks afterwards, and water on time with care. For shade plants, water carefully and monitor there progress. Plants are adaptable and while under observation, will bounce back from out of season division.

Myth 3 - all veggies and herbs need full sun

There are veggies and herbs that need a good eight to ten hours of full sun per day, where as others thrive in part shade. The heat of the day is too much for them, and not only disrupts their appearance but also their flavor. Herbs of basil, mint, parsley and lemon balm, do much better with four to six hours of sunlight. Kale, lettuce, arugula and carrots are a few examples of veggies that will grow better with some downtime from all day sun. Tomatoes, do need good sun exposure to grow, but even they will do well with six hours of direct sun per day. If you are growing edibles indoors on a window sill, the rules change and I would put them in an area where they receive a good amount of sunlight, as the light is reflected and absorbed differently indoors. Read an article I wrote about growing edibles indoors here.


Myth 4 - pennies turn Hydrangeas blue

Aluminum creates blue hydrangea flowers, the soil must be acidic for the aluminum to be absorbed by the plant. Pennies were briefly made of aluminum in the 1970's, these days they are formed from copper - plated zinc, they do not contain any metals that encourage nutrient absorption. A pH of 5.5 is a good level to maintain for blue hydrangeas. To lower your soils pH, add soil acidifier according to the instructions on the packet. Organic methods that add acidity to soil and change it's chemistry include, unwashed - unused coffee beans crushed and encouraged into the soil, or by applying pine needles or pine bark mulch, both of these applications will lower the soils pH.

Alter - 1 garden poem

Garnered self-absorption
-a moment in which
you doubted your instincts
but still kept grounds sodden.
With dirty fingernails
The Barefoot Contessa
treads through mud
-it slows me down
but you had led me on.
Roses of caprice
bloom like layers in gardenias.
The shotgun driver
took control of the wheel
you were unable to steer
like spokes stopped short,
upended by imposing branches
-I am tired of being sedated.

Your tracks illuminate
my placated nervous system;
I bred plants
strictly to mourn over them.
The morning brings
blue, wandering jews
to rest in peace beside me
-they look like forget-me-nots
all twisted up in knots.
Spiderwort reaches
for the black widow
hanging over your head:
I watch it descend.

A swift hummingbird
seemed to levitate
as he helped himself
to hanging mandevilla
that crept toward the light.
Forlorn blossoms
fluttered in the chilling breeze
on high-low dresses

like frozen forms
of chrysanthemum crystals
due to hail storms
or early frost
bursting tree trunks
-you always tend
to leave me for dead
during harsh weather
then sprout up again,
flirting with spring

Coated buds are rooted firmly,
bulbs fold in on themselves,
preserve stigmas,
and sheathe pistils;
you desert me
no matter the season.
I maintained contact
only to find myself.

Gestural, like a secret withheld,
dragons danced
with piercing, daring gazes
and unrelenting radiance
of lily white essence
-an ethereal compassion
comparable to prisms.
Petals were strewn about my face
and moved to contain laughter
like precious heirlooms.
I am driven to fix
a fraying edge,
hemming fabric
like water snakes shedding
their skin at cliffside
until the pond dried.


Artist - Poet

Christine Vladimirovna is a self made poet inspired by everyday conversations and experiences.
She combines moments in her life to create stories in various art forms.

Through sharing her work and thoughts with local NYC artists at open mics, held at spaces like Hub 17, along with poetry courses at her local college, she's developed a focused style over the course of the last
8 years.