Most of my customers at the moment are customers whose gardens I have chosen. By that I mean, I don't take on customers whose gardens I don't like aside from some older customers who need help for some reason. So the bulk of my working days are spent working on places I'm interested in. I know a lot of gardeners who take on every job that they are offered but you don't really need to: there is so much work that I find I can pick and choose! I've kept my hours pretty low compared to most gardeners as after about 6 hours a day I'm usually exhausted and losing the will to live. But as I look to renting, I'm going to have to do a couple more hours a day. Myabe I just need to drink more water!
Anyway, so most jobs involve me going around and doing what I want! My customers know I'm organic and interested in wildlife, so they give me free riegn in most areas. I'm really into my gardening and read a lot of myth-busting sort of books (Ken Thompson's being my favourite), but I'm no expert. However, the gardens I work on look OK and my attempts at making compost, no-digging, use of cardboard to suppress weed, etc seem to be working. An experienced gardener who I occassionally work with mostly just critisizes what I do and remarked that my homemade compost had a lot of sticks in it. I'm not using it to sow seeds in, so I really don't see the problem! As a slightly ugly mulch, it works fine! And I let some shrubs take on their natural shape rather than hacking them all the time into nice shapes...
I sowed cornfield annuals in a patch last year and they looked lovely:
In Autumn I cut them down, raked over a little, did a bit of hand weeding and left the patch. I planted some alliums a while later and now it looks like this:
Loads of dead nettle came up as well as hairy bittercress but mostly it's just a carpet of corn chamomile with the odd cornflower. Which is OK! The bees are loving the dead nettle and the corn chamomile will grow through the weeds. The advice is to sow again each year but it was nice to see what would win in the self-sowing battle. Turns out it's weeds and corn chamomile.
I'm also doing a cutflower garden for a customer. Again, I just do it my way: two raised beds, cardboard on the bottom and pile my compost on top. For more permanent plants I'd think about the soil more, but for annuals, I think the compost will be fine. I have plenty of little plants on their way in the greenhouse:
Not the tomatoes obviously, but pot marigolds, cosmos, sweet peas, zinnias, tithonia, amberboa, and asters. It could be nice!
Hmm. That was basically a post to show what the cornfield annuals look like in their second year without re-sowing. The rest was waffle.