Who Is The Garden Scout?
Hello! My name is Travis and welcome to The Garden Scout! I am restless by nature. I love trying new things, I love learning, and I’m always looking to see what to do next.
The Garden Scout was born in north Louisiana out of my great passion for growing and collecting plants. Here on this website you will see me explore how nature connects with the home garden, search out inspiration in the wild, and constantly try new ways of gardening, such as permaculture. To find out more about the website itself, click HERE. I also have a love for photography. I’m always that one person that would rather and play around with taking pictures and editing them to my satisfaction than watch a TV show in the evening. Put those two passions together and what do you get?
A whole bunch of garden photography and practical gardening know-how but nowhere to actually share my discoveries with the world. That was when I first thought about starting a blog. It seemed like the perfect solution for my problem, but I hesitated. Was I really ready for potentially hundreds of people to visit my site, comment, and make themselves known to me? I finally took the leap in August of 2015 and created my first garden blog, The Seasonal Garden, on WordPress. After I had gotten the hang of it, I actually enjoying it once I had gotten all of the kinks worked out of my new website page. I blogged there for another couple of months before finally deciding to transition to a fully independent website. It was a huge leap, but I never regretted it for a second! So, now that you’ve heard a little backstory on how The Garden Scout came to be, let’s do a little Q&A to get you better aquiainted with me and my garden.
A highschooler… interested in plants? How did that happen?
Well, when I was younger, my family would often take me out in my grandparent's garden and teach me the names of various plants, like maple, magnolia, rose, etc. They always thought it important that I grow up being outdoors and build up real life experiences doing things that would help me in the long run, not just sitting inside playing video games for hours a day like I see some of my generation doing. When I was old enough to start earning a little chore money, I would save it up until I had a few dollars, and then go and buy a new plant that I had never seen before at the local garden center.
Of course, I didn’t really know that much about what plants grew where, and so most of the time my hard earned purchases would die because of too little water, or get fried in the full sun. Over time, I learned the names and growing conditions for hundreds of plants, and little by little, I gathered up pieces of information that would help me in growing a successful garden. So yeah, long story cut short, that’s how I have such a deep interest in plants.
So…You live in the south?
I do! Northern Louisiana to be exact. One of my favorite things about being located where I am is that there is the potential to grow a wide range of plants. It is just far enough north to experience frost and, very rarely, some snow. That means that I can still grow traditional favorites that require cold winters, such as peonies and a wide range of spring-flowering bulbs.
But I also have the opportunity to grow many tropicals and exotics because of hot, steamy summers. For those of you wondering how tropicals and frost could possibly mix, I can get away with a heavy mulch of leaves and pinestraw since the average winter only has a few days in the teens.
What type of gardening do you practice…edible or ornamental?
That’s a great question! I practice both ornamental and edible gardening. As long as I can experiment with new varieties and techniques, I’m in! I actually love trying to incorporate edibles into the ornamental landscape, and if it strikes my fancy, a row of sweetpeas may be even sown right beside a row of cabbage in the vegetable garden!
What is your own garden like?
My own garden is pretty much just one great, big experiment. I like formal structure and classic design, but modern elements, such as grasses and informal plantings are also part of the plan. In 2014, I ripped out all of the existing plants and began to remake my garden, one space at a time. So far I have a fully functioning organic vegetable garden, a beginning woodland garden, and a large garden that houses all the rest of my ornamental and edible oddities. A small orchard borders one side of my garden, and is surrounded by a large field on the other three sides (I’m already thinking of what I could do with that field!). My garden is constantly evolving and changing as I try new things… It can only get better from here!
Do you have any pets?
I have one dog, Ginger. She's a rescue from the local animal shelter, and I could not ask for a better pet. Other than occasionally flopping down on a bed of pansies or pulling up my radishes when I'm not looking, she's a good companion. I would not trade all of the pansies and radishes in the world for her. They can be replaced. A good pet cannot. You can see in the picture to the right that my dad was having to hold her while I snapped some photos of my cut-flower garden. Otherwise, she'd be trying to hunt down lizards on the flowers to play with. Don't worry, she never kills them (except for that one time...). The black box around her neck is for the underground fence.
What is the purpose of this website?
Oh boy. There are a huge amount of things that could be said. The websites that I love reading (and that are the most popular) were not in my part of the country, being in much cooler/less humid climates. The reason for this? It’s just plain hard to garden in the heat around here! I’ll admit it. Even I don’t enjoy walking outside and carrying out everyday garden chores when it’s 100 degrees with 75% humidity. But that being said, I strongly believe that no matter where you live, there’s always a way to grow something (Seriously, you can do it!). Also, have you noticed how many different groups of gardeners there are? Young gardeners (me), established gardeners, food gardeners, ornamental gardeners, and a plethora of others, all interested in their own area of the gardening realm. I aim to change that. My second goal on this website is to bring together the various groups of gardeners and cultivate community over enjoyable, regionalized content. Not to mention that, since this is my personal interest, this website fuels my own creativity, wanderlust, knowledge, and interests. So yeah, those are (some of) the reasons for creating this website.