An Opportunity For Another Garden

August 1, 2010

Yesterday, I meant to trim the weglia bushes on the side of the house.

When I got back from Pilates at 9:15, it had just finished raining, so the ground was soaked and the air was crisp and gentle. Perfect time for weed pulling, so I got on my garden shoes, grabbed my gloves and jumped in.

I decided to pull out the big native plant that was dominating the sun bed. It was a dramatic centerpiece, but I don’t think it made much sense in that garden – and I’m not sure what the heck it was. I know there are seedlings of it in profusion, which will make next year interesting as I try to pull it all out. Hey, I got rid of lemon balm once (oh. mi. gawd. talk about an invasive plant!) so I can certainly keep this out of the garden.

Some prairie plants that used to be sited by the pond were in that same bed, but getting crowded out (in just one year) by the peonies, so I moved those to the butterfly bed and put rings around them – they are very floppy.

I realized that the coreopsis in front of the burning bushes was too clumped together, mashed into an 18″ x 12″ space, so I dug that out and then separated it and replanted it, dividing in all over the space, a good 36″ x 24″.

The coneflower in the bed across the driveway was being swallowed by the pampas grass, as was the scabiosa. I dug up all those, divided them and replanted them in better positions in that same bed.

The hydrangeas are being overcome by coneflower which, now that it is established, grows everywhere in my garden. I took those out, looked around and realized I had nowhere to move them.

So I did what I usually do in those circumstances. I started another garden bed. In the grassless spots along the neighbor’s fence, I dug holes and plunked them in, now committing myself to making sure that area becomes another garden. The lawn in that area is a weed packed mess, so I won’t be eliminating beautiful sod. I will not plant any lamb’s ear there, but I do have plenty of bell flower in the Neither Here Nor There garden, so I can transplant that when the time comes. With my mind’s eye, I can already see a trail of flowers along that fence, bright and happy and full. I’m thinking some Annabelle hydrangeas in the mix. It may not happen in full this year, but it will by the end of next year’s season.

Two of the three burning bushes were looking very ragged; I’ve been waiting all year for them to recover, but they have not. With my big pruning clippers, I trimmed them right down to the ground, putting all the branches and leaves into the yard waste bin (The compost bin is full. We’ll  have to wait a few days until it compresses itself).  Burning bush is an alien, an invasive species and does have a tendency to crowd everything else out, so I’m not sad to see them go. They are stunning for about a week in the fall, but that does not make up for the fact that they were planted in the wrong place for their eventual size (I have to hack them back every year to maintain a view of and from the front porch) and nothing except a lavender bush has ever grown under or around them. GONE! I trimmed the third to a neat bunch, but that’s going to come out too and very soon. I’m debating whether to put Dominic on dig-out duty or call a company to just come grind up those stumps.

This is now a very sunny spot and valuable garden space. I’m envisioning a fountain of grass in the middle, surrounded by the iris that badly need resiting from the backyard, coneflower, coeropsis and phlox. Should have that accomplished within the next few weeks.

I pulled the weeds from around the flagstone at the end of the driveway and at the edge of the curb where it meets the blacktop. The rainwater coursed around me as I moved the bucket, pulled and tossed, moved the bucket and started again, cleaning up the whole front of our property. It really was a great time to pull weeds.

So much planning all the time in the garden – I was sitting on the lawn, staring at the newly-opened spot when my neighbor shouted, “taking a break?” I laughed and said, “Just thinking how this will look next year!”

Next year. No matter how beautiful it is now, it’s always about the future – next spring, next summer, next fall. There is always a reason to look forward in the garden. Sometimes, it’s about taking care of what we’ve got. Sometimes it’s about growing beyond our existing boundaries, because we’ve just got too many wonders.

Sometimes, that’s alot like life.

And yes, I did finally trim the weglia.


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