The Impatient Gardener Learning Patience
When we moved to this house 11 years ago this month, there were no flower beds in the back garden and the front was a mess. Over the years we dug beds, planted the cedar hedge for privacy on two sides, and I transplanted these irises from the front garden.
I'd read about developing a master plan for a garden and thought it a good idea, going so far as to scratch out a general plan on a piece of paper and make a list of what I should get at the nursery. Shrubs that would provide interest during the dormant months, colorful perennials for summer blooms, trees for some architecture. However, I'm easily led astray by plant nurseries, and came home with few things on my list and a lot of pretty things like a buddleia that promised to grow to 15 feet in the first year, vinca that would quickly fill in and cover the soil, and so on. Friends and relatives gave me clippings that I accepted with gratitude, just wanting to have a pretty garden. It didn't take long before the lovely Snow on the Mountain (Aegopodium podagraria 'variegatum') and the Lamb's Ears (Stachys byzantina) and the purple Vinca took over.
I managed to keep things at bay with serious clipping and pulling out and cutting back, but when we moved away for two years, the renters just let things go. I can't blame them. So last year, after moving back into our home, I became ruthless. My first task in the spring was to dig out all of those invasive plants. I dug up the soil and sifted through it, searching for stray roots that would produce perky stems of the very plants I was trying to eliminate. Of course I was not totally successful. Persistent pulling out last summer and now again this spring has the plants mostly gone. I'll be equally persistent this year.
Then we decided to clear the back corner for a new garden shed, which will likely be built in the fall or next summer. And add a block border which finishes off the beds very well, and has the added bonus of providing a place for Little Miss A to walk along. So there's more empty spaces. This year we added some fruit trees and in the fall I'll be dividing perennials. When I purchase perennials, like the creeping phlox and the blue flowers whose name escapes me just now, I verify by reading the tag and inquiring of the knowledgeable folk at the nursery that these plants will mound nicely and contain themselves politely.
The rock rings are where I've seeded cosmos, annuals that never fail to provide lots of color and texture to my garden. I can move them where I want them once they sprout and grow a little. Elsewhere I have piles of large and medium-sized rocks, placed here and there, artistically, in my view, although my husband thinks them a bit odd. Dahlias and other plants (like the uber-friendly vinca) in pots fill in more of the blank spots. I'm determined, this year, at last, to wait.
Happily, I don't have to wait quite so long for other things - like the lettuce and rainbow chard. They grow fast and I'm happy to start cutting and consuming.
So tell me that I'm not the only impatient gardener out there. Please?