2008-06-06 / Columnists

The Diary Of A Green Thumb

Gardening Is No Longer 'Do It Yourself'
Commentary By Danielle McShane Danielle's Rockaway Florist

DANIELLE McSHANE DANIELLE McSHANE With all of the cooking shows on television, they are inspiring a new generation of people who experiment more in the kitchen to sharpen their cooking skills. You would imagine the same from the home makeover shows that have become so popular. Truth is, they are giving you a masked image, that you could give a simple makeover to your home in what seems like not much more than the 30 minutes that the show is on. It is obvious that this is a bit of an exaggeration, but how far are they stretching the truth?

A small piece of the home makeover might include sprucing up the yard with flowers, shrubs and grass. This is a very big part of design on television, magazines, and products sold by catalogue. The "Garden" lifestyle is sold as an attractive part of the living area, not as separate from the indoors as it used to be. Fire pits, hammocks and fancy furniture look as though they belong inside the home. Lounge chairs with decorative throw pillows, beautiful ceiling fans with detailed iron work… who wouldn't agree that the comfort of the indoors, paired with the sun, breeze and clarity of the garden would give us the best of both worlds. Truth is though, it does not come easy! It takes a lot of dedication, time and hard work.

Now that we have spawned the appetite for the perfect backyard, we have also created a new trend in gardening. It is no longer do-it-yourself, but do it for me!! I have received so many calls from local homeowners who either have a summer house in Rockaway and wanted the garden to be colorful and plentiful before they even arrived, or from the year round residents who are so busy with work or the children that they cannot seem to find the time to add a bit of color to their gardens.

Not all of us get excited at the thought of working in the hot sun, but so many of us run to the beach on the first nice day we have! I have also come to learn that living in Rockaway means that we should expect surprise visits from friends and family for the day, since the beach can't be more than a few blocks away! This doesn't leave much time to choose the plants we need, or time to even do the planting. Many of you out there are not necessarily gardeners, and that's okay. You don't have to be, to enjoy a yard of colorful flowers, wandering vines, or overflowing potted plants and hanging baskets.

As for gardeners, I think we find a certain satisfaction in planning and planting ourselves. I find it gratifying to put in the day's work to finally sit back, sore muscles and all, and enjoy landscape I have created. The time spent outdoors is a change for me, even though I am doing the same thing indoors all day at the flower shop. I can consider myself most lucky, since it truly is a passion. It is as gratifying to help someone who isn't quite a gardener to enjoy the beauty I can create in his or her yard as well.

While the rest of the world loves the lifestyle in the garden, can we find many of them who love gardening? No worries… If it is the ambiances you desire, but you can't make the time to do it yourself, you can always hire help. Their expertise may help in creating a landscape that needs little maintenance, and will re-bloom with only a few additions each year!

Feel free to write us with your tips or gardening questions at 436 Beach 129 Street.

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