Quotes: About planting

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Ever the doubters, always sure the miracle of growth will one day end, we plant too many seeds, and crowd the transplants. We know we'll laugh at ourselves later when too many sprout and we can hardly bear to thin the seedlings. 

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A good gardener always plants three seeds -- one for the bugs, one for the weather and one for himself.

- Leo Aikman -
see What's Coming Up #44

The birds get a few, too!
Below: Oregon grapeholly seeds (


Bad seed is a robbery of the worst kind: for your pocket-book not only suffers by it, but your preparations are lost and a season passes away unimproved.

- George Washington -
see What's Coming Up #132

March is excellent for seed-starting if you use grow lights. Without grow lights, though, wait until April.

- Calvin Bordine, Bordine Nursery -
see What's Coming Up #136

Compost0766s.jpg  Never plant without a bucket of compost at your side.

- Elsa Bakalar -
see What's Coming Up #88

A change of location when replanting is always beneficial.

- from The Wise Garden Encyclopedia, editor E.L.D. Seymour, 1936 -
see What's Coming Up #90


Plants need to be moved around. You may have to move them a half dozen times before you get the position right (or before they give up the ghost) but that's nothing to be ashamed of.

- Christopher Lloyd, In My Garden, 1994 -


Move those roses as soon as you can dig. They will probably hardly notice.  ...they're a lot tougher than we give them credit for.

- Nancy Lindley, Great Lakes Roses -
see  What's Coming Up #136


Shrubs transplant well now. Our new shrubs and trees come in starting in April -- in many cases they were just dug from a field, the same as transplanting. If the soil is workable, put them in. Given a month or more of cool weather and good soil moisture, they'll often out-perform shrubs planted later.

- Ed Allemon, Allemon's Garden Center -
see What's Coming Up #137

PlantTreeAs.jpg PlantTree2611s.jpg

...all who see it say, "Well, you have favorable conditions here. Everything grows for you." Everything grows for everybody. Everything dies for everybody, too.

- Henry Mitchell, The Essential Earthman, 1981 -


Above: Very soon after it was planted, someone did say of this bed, "Well, it's a good spot, everything obviously grows there." True, the planting is filling in nicely and will soon be full without being overwhelming or needing continual cutback. Yet some of the species we originally planted opted out, saying "Nope, not our thing!" We either replaced them with more of what did thrive here, or tried something new until it all worked.

There are annual herbs in the black-painted PVC tubes, to accompany:
creeping mother of thyme (
Thymus serpyllum),
bronze fennel (a
Foeniculum variety, which must be deadheaded religiously to keep it from spreading),
cooking sage (
Salvia officinalis) and
the statuesque celery substitute, lovage (
Levisticum officinale).

A late blooming panicle hydrangea (
Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva') is underplanted with:
barren strawberry (
Waldsteinia ternata) which is itself underplanted with
daffodils and blue quamash bulbs (
Camassia cusickii 'Blue Danube'),
all happy in this otherwise dry, hot spot because we created a subsurface reservoir and diverted roof runoff water there for them.