Something new

Gladiolus murielae What is it about having something new that can make even the old somethings seem cool again all of a sudden? Back in mid-July when I was totally sick and tired of poking things in the ground, as a very last I’ve-got-to-do-this-or-I’ll-be-tormented-by-guilt gasp, I planted about 25 Gladiolus murielae (the artist formerly known as acidanthera). I had zero faith at the time that they’d ever bloom. But here they are – shorter than usual but serendipitously, a perfect height for here. And now the whole garden seems new again. Those blooms forced me off my lazy for a whiff and when I did that, I happened to notice that there were a couple-three other things blooming too and not in that depressed back-to-school way, but fresh and lovely and new. And when I noticed that, my old and nearly gone to seed desire to show off on the interwebs was all refreshed too. So without further ado I give you a long shot of the sideyard/driveway garden, a 4 o’clock, Clematis heracleifolia, and Caryopteris.

the sideyard gardenMirabilis jalapa - 4 o'clockClematis heracleifolia - a shrubby non-vining clematisdetail from an enormous caryopteris

(Plus I finally weeded again!)

Mission control

Star magnolia - my favorite rescue plantI almost succumbed to the everybody’s-doin’-it peer pressure of making room for a dedicated vegetable bed in my garden this year. Instead, I’m probably the only person on the planet who is not planting arugula. And I’m totally ok with that because now I have a plan.

At work we have a mission statement (preserve, educate, inspire, yada-yada) and a master plan in the works. At home it was the debacle of the nicotine patch/grave site bed that made me realize I needed to develop a mission and a master plan for here too. (Only I’m not going to seek grants to pay professionals many thousands of dollars to draw something up.)

It was when I started thinking about my garden’s mission that I remembered that vegetables are not really my thing. They’re too much work. My garden’s mission is much lazier than that. I want it to be beautiful – there should be a place for every orphaned plant that comes my way – including whatever pretty vegetables – and anything that causes me to bust out the wallet because I can’t possibly live without it. There should be very little lawn because I don’t enjoy mowing. It should not cost much because I don’t have much to spend. I want to sit in it with a book or a bevvie in my paw and feel like the weeding can wait. I want it to be visible from the road and welcoming. I want it to be a habitat, not a yard. Yesterday a kid passing on a bike called to me – “Nice garden!”, he said. That’s what I’m talking about – that’s my mission.

As for a plan…  No matter how much I want it to be a gorgeous tour worthy grown-up garden now, the seedling trees that will provide shade and a feeling of enclosure have years to grow and we don’t have the money for every major project so we’ll pick one at a time – a vine arbor for the deck, first – and save the others for later. Lawn eradication will be a process of years too but I’ve made some strides in determining what stays for the dog’s sake and what’s slated to go. I know it’s important to live in a place for a while before making major changes but indecision was making me crazy. With a mission in mind, I can see the garden more clearly now. – And I have a better idea of what I want to see.

truck full of foundation plants

new bedsThis weekend I took out the last of the horrid foundation shrubbery on my hit list; Z and I filled up the truck and came home again from the dump with an enormous load of town compost (free). With that, I made two new beds with the lazygirl lasagna method and enlarged and amended others – I have plenty of room now for a growing collection. I had my soil tested this spring and am low-lead-level free to graze so I’ll be sure to tuck in a few good looking veg in the established beds and ride on the bumper of that bandwagon too. (Everybody’s doin’ it.)

Does your garden have a mission?  Do you have a master plan? (-Does it keep changing?)