I'm not an expert gardener, but I do enjoy the natural beauty of plants. I prefer to grow plants without the use of chemicals for a number of reasons.
1) Run-off from rain and simple watering can wreak havoc on the environment
2) Some chemicals can leach into food plants
3) I like to share some of the food I grow with my cute lil' plated lizard and hermit crabs, whose little bodies can't handle nearly as many chemicals as we can.
Yes, yes, I understand that chemicals can be used responsibly. I'd just rather not use anything other plant food. Besides, I think some of the common garden "pests" are really neat to watch, such as banana slugs and hornworms (both of which can make tasty treats for hungry lizards and hedgehogs!) I rather enjoy the idea that the plants I take care of also provide an attractive home and temporary shelter for creatures like garter snakes and some insects.
What I really enjoy, however, is growing
unusual plants. I've had bonsais (one died when I went to a music camp and my mom forgot to water it--yet it stayed green somehow), several cacti, aloe veras, aquatic plants (my plecostomus uprooted my last one, but some parts of it are alive and well and floating) and am currently trying orchids for the first time.
I would love to try my hand at more succulents
, such as prickly pear (also makes a tasty treat for people and some animals), coral cactus
, and some of the cacti that can grow to astounding heights and put out gorgeous flowers
As for flowers
, my mother takes care of 99% of the ones we own. Most of them are kept outdoors in large pots or in small flower
gardens throughout the yard. We've successfully kept raspberry bushes, but have found it very, very difficult to convince new raspberry and strawberry bushes to grow when the dog keeps eating the berries off them before we even get a chance to see any.