What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

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Skippy
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What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

Post: # 269550Post Skippy
Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:16 pm

Just to be clear I don't mean any waccy baccy plantations that anyone may have but rather plants (or whatever) that seem at odds with the selfsufficientish idea.
I'm talking about plants that don't provide food or have any real purpose and is something that came to me today whilist digging out some bushes.To me self sufficientcy is all about growing crops that are useful for food, fuel or serve a purpose that is other than cosmetic. I've got an area that I'm clearing finally (that could be another thread on it's own, how long does it take to get round to a certain job?) to use the ground to put in cold frames and other stuff. The bushes I've taken out , one was a large privet and I'm unsure of the other did give "all year round greenery" but precious little else.
However,this isn't a bash anything inedible thread because it occured to me that both my wife and I do have plants that would otherwise be in the bashing catagory. For instance , in my mothers garden is a boxwood bush I planted as a seedling 30 years ago but I like it because it feels nice to the touch and I wouldn't want to remove it. Equally I like cowslips and wouldn't want to get rid of them although they may get shifted around. Ok so technically the box produces a valuable timber but it won't in my lifetime and the cowslips could be used for wine or salads but I don't do that.
So the quite tongue in cheek question is what "useless" plants do you grow?


Pete
Last edited by Skippy on Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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123sologne
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Re: What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

Post: # 269552Post 123sologne
Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:59 pm

Hi Pete,
Well my husband has some bonsai, which are very pretty, but obviously, no good for wood or for food. I suppose he could sell them one day if he wanted to and probably make a bit of money out of them, but he may have to wait a fair few years for that as they are still young trees and only the old ones reach some serious money... I doubt he would sell them anyway as they are a bit like the very quiet kids. We are used to them and feel for them if they start looking a bit sick. saddos we must be ! :shock: :lol:

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Re: What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

Post: # 269555Post marshlander
Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:21 pm

Far more flowers than are strictly needed - they're for the bees of course! :flower:

Far too much grass - guilty about this one. Huge amount of resources in terms of both time and money go in the grass, not least an obscene amount of money spent on a super dooper mower to cope with so much bloody grass. OH gets very unhappy when I dig any of it up. He puts it down to growing up in a tiny terraced house with only a concrete yard out the back. :(

OH also insists on taking a bath, not a shower. Yes, he only had a tin bath on nail! He recons I'm posh 'cos we had a semi with an indoor bathroom! :lol:
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Re: What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

Post: # 269559Post Maykal
Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:09 am

Well, I suppose you could argue that beautiful flowers and plants in the home and garden, the area where the self-sufficient person lives and works, are food for the soul. There is also mental health to consider as well as physical health and sustenance. Therefore, is the growing of plants purely for aesthetic purposes at odds with self-sufficiency? By nurturing a flower garden, trimming a bonsai, or putting your feet up and taking in a well-tended flower bed, you're simply providing for another need without spending vast sums of money on stuff peddled to us by corporations. :D

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Re: What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

Post: # 269564Post gregorach
Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:11 am

As the permaculturists say: "fun is a yield".
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Re: What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

Post: # 269577Post Lost-in-the-Day
Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:04 pm

I have 2 spruce trees and a flowering cherry already established in my new garden that I haven't found a self-sufficient purpose for yet, except for partially blocking out the neighbours that is. And as for inside the house I have bromeliads, spider plants, calatheas, a golden dragon plant, a tradescantia and some ivy.
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Re: What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

Post: # 269579Post merlin
Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:18 pm

I planted a walnut some years ago, just a walnut, not even a tree. It is huge now, it is comming down in the spring, And I don't any tut tuts about protected walnuts, they are my nuts and I will have them out when I want to.
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Re: What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

Post: # 269590Post Zech
Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:32 pm

Spanish bluebells. I know they're thuggish invaders and I don't like them as much as the more delicate natives, but they're still pretty. Also, the ones in our garden were planted by the previous owner's mother - red (pink), white and blue varieties - for the queen's coronation, and they're still going strong (at least, the blue ones are) sixty years on. I'm no royalist, but knowing that history makes me reluctant to dig them up.
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Re: What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

Post: # 269595Post oldjerry
Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:14 pm

Confession time.The chief advocate of native planting has gone over to the dark side.(well a bit ,any how.)
My new urban garden(never had one before)is give or take 34'x194',and (shock horror) I've been persuaded that the first 18' of length should be sitting around garden,so lots of non native stuff to go with the honeysuckle,clematis , etc,I'm thinking witch hazel,viburnum bodnantense,etc,any other suggestions gratefully received.

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Re: What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

Post: # 269611Post Millymollymandy
Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:38 am

Good grief the vast majority of plants in my garden are inedible (although some may have petals which are edible, or are edible weeds but they all taste like kack so I don't bother. I eat my veggies instead :iconbiggrin: ).

It's not all about hard work and slog growing edibles. Because of my macro photography I see so much LIFE in amongst my non edibles, so they serve a purpose for the insects which use them, e.g. crab spiders waiting on a flower for prey be it a bee or a hoverfly - yup we don't like to think about that as we love our pollinators but spiders are cool too. My garden is alive with pollinating insects and the vast majority are drawn to my flowers, most of which are planted for pollinators and butterflies in mind. If all you grow are veg (particularly ones which don't flower), you are depriving many insects of food and creating a quite sterile environment, I would think. Diversity is best so grow flowers too (or flowerng herbs if you can't bear the thought of anything inedible)!

I'd only grow ornamentals if I had to choose between edible and inedible and have given over some of my veg patch to a wildflower meadow for pollinating insects this year and have been studying them and writing about it on my blog.

And it is food for the soul. I am never happier than when surrounded by flowers and insects. :flower:

And it's this 'non-edibles have no place in an Ish garden' which puts me off this site more and more. It's all so sad that people can't see the bigger picture. Especially those who advocate getting rid of grass. Read this which I wrote on my blog and has been the most popular posting. Shows just how important an unkempt 'lawn' is to wildlife.

http://chateaumoorhen.blogspot.fr/2012/ ... -lawn.html
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Re: What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

Post: # 269612Post Skippy
Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:56 am

MMM sit in your flowerbed and breath deeply.
It wasn't meant as a total condemnation of all things inedible , as I said it was a tongue in cheek question and for the most part I'd say the majority of the gardens in the country are filled with flowers and grass rather than taters and cabbages but each to his own.
Here's a story on a similiar note.
A lot of my work has been for the national trust , english heritage , redundant chuch commission and the like and every so often there would be a letter of thanks for a job well done. It of course was satsisfying to recieve these thanks and gave us an ego boost but jokingly we'd say "are theses the sort of thanks we can spend in T***o's?"
Mind we also had a client who's wife baked us cakes and that was even better , hmmmmm

edit "That" supermarket really does come up as a swear word :lol:

Pete

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Re: What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

Post: # 269620Post boboff
Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:39 pm

MMM, I don't see really any sensible person here or elsewhere saying that Oranmentals don't have a place in an Ish garden.

Surely cut flowers are a good "crop" Bloody expensive to buy, and lovely to have.

I didn't answer the post as I am so crap at being self sufficient "ish" and most of the plants I grow seem to be little more than something for weeds to suffocate.

I do still enjoy the ethos and discussions on this forum.

One of my few success this year was growing Jacobs ladder from seed collected in the "wild" bit of the garden. I love the flowers, and the leaves are green seemingly for allot of the year.
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Re: What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

Post: # 269625Post MKG
Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:51 pm

Self-sufficiency (especially the "ish" kind) is about more than edible crops. How about being self-sufficient in providing a pleasant place to sit and relax? That's going to lower your blood-pressure and increase self-sufficiency in health. Someone's already mentioned insects, and I don't think you'd find a better butterfly puller than a buddleia.

Native planting? Tell that one to the people who get tugs of pride after digging up a prize crop of potatoes or carrots - neither of them native. How many of us grow tomatoes (another non-native)?

Nahh! Grow what you want to grow. If that's a ton and a half of vegetables, then fine. If it's roses, that's fine too because as long as you're not buying bunches of roses from the florist, you're being self-sufficient. Even if it's just grass, that's a whole lot better than an equal area of concrete.

Maybe we should remember why the Terrible Twins started this site - it was because they wanted the best of both worlds.

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Re: What do you grow that perhaps you shouldn't?

Post: # 269630Post Annemieke
Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:14 pm

We have grass but we don't like mowing, so we just mow where we are likely to sit and walk, and leave the rest to grow. Then 2-4 times a year this is strimmed. We call it a wildflower lawn, though most of the flowers are dandelions and daisies. Of course grass flowers, too.
As the amount of grass cut regularly is so small, I have a hand mower for that. For years I used an old second hand one, and when I bought this new one it was heaven. Even the neighbour, with his electrical mower, was jealous.
This all sounds very saintly, but what we have too much of is: vegetable beds. They are very underused, mainly because my husband has got two allotments where most of our veg comes from. At the house I only grow some lettuce, endive, green manure, lots of marigolds for the lutein, poached egg plants for the insects - the rest is just soil where the corn salad comes up every autumn. So I do have to hoe a lot to keep the moss and hairy bittercress down (I know you can eat that, but it's a lot of work!). Bare soil - the very worst. Oh dear.
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