Garden Sadness 2015

Last year I was an emotional wreck during the months when normally I would have been poring over seed and plant catalogues. Late in spring I ordered plants from just one vendor, and the box sat and sat and finally I gave it away, unopened.

Summer came, and fall, and I did almost nothing in the yard. Every week Enrique’s crew came to mow, but in the gardens, the weeds grew and grew. I had a new passion – crocheting – and spent my money on yarn and other craft supplies instead of on the garden. I spent my time on that, too. The gardens were almost wholly neglected. Fortunately, we had enough rain, so nothing cooked for lack of my interest in watering.

This year, I want to buy plants again. I mean, I really want to buy plants. There are days when I’ve had to take my afternoon tranquilizer early to keep myself from buying plants. I never realized till then how much anxiety contributes to indiscriminate spending.

Why can’t I buy? Continue reading

Garden Makeover, Day 1: Digging, Killing and Cussing

In my back yard there is a garden built on a slope that I’ve been struggling with since I moved in. Some of the plants there are good, but not many. It was filled with spread-everywhere lilies-of-the-valley, boring pink phlox and some kind of eat-your-yard ladybells. I love hostas, but the ones in this particular garden were nondescript and boring. The peonies are not a color I like, and there was an ugly, sprawling rosebush. Here’s a view of it in June 2011, before anything much had bloomed:

Not bad looking, I suppose, butSlope Garden June 2011 it’s just not interesting enough for me. I design gardens carefully, paying attention to details, crafting vignettes, and this garden was a jumble of a few unrelated colors and invasive plants. All I really wanted to keep were the Siberian irises and the peonies. Well, not even the peonies, but I figured I could plant some things around them to ease the shocking effect of the color.

Not so fast, pardner. When I got into working with this area, I found out just what a mess it really was. Continue reading