Monday, June 27, 2011

Flower medley

For months I have been carefully examining flower gardens in our neighbourhood, asking my mother-in law serious plant questions, and taking notes about Miss Greenish Thumb's beautifully landscaped gardens (some photos perhaps, Miss Greenish Thumb?).  The perennial archives in my mind are quite full, but I have nothing to show for the process outside of myself... no paper trail, no plans. 

Yesterday evening I created the flower garden for the front of our house (in front of our new porch).  I guess I shouldn't call it a "medley", as the title suggests.  It's too thrown together to deserve such a term.  "Flower cacaphony" is more appropriate.  Only time will tell.  Maybe throughout the next two months the plants will fill out, bloom, connect with each other, create nice visual linkages.  For now, here's what I ended up with:

Chuckle away.  I know, it's funny looking.  And, no flowers in sight, really.  At the same time, I feel pretty good about it.  Maybe that's because I like tangible results.  I just feel happy that I've got something to work with and that I can call a flower garden.  The refining will come with time.

A couple things to note:
  • Those $1 bags of topsoil from Walmart - that's not just a sale price!  That's the price all the time!  I know it's Walmart and all and it isn't the best place to support, but it's dirt...I bought 20 bags and dumped them in the flower garden.
  • I already placed some rocks and plants there to begin with - this may have limited my placement of the new plants since the first ones weren't thought through.
  • I can't believe how crowded it looks (the pictures don't capture this).  And everything will grow and expand like crazy.  There will be some serious re-jigging required. 
  • Oregano and thyme are perennials!  I put them right into the garden instead of pots.  If these are perennials, how many other herbs can I incorporate right into this garden?  Yay!
  • Hosta roots are tough and massive - I dug a chunk out of my neighbour, Margot's garden.  What a battle.
Overall, the best thing about the process is the origins of each plant.  When I look at the flowerbed, I can think of my neighbours Elaine and Margot, who kindly provided hostas, black-eyed susans, and two others that I have yet to identify.  Miss Greenish Thumb herself gave me some irises.  I bought the oregano and thyme from a lovely garage saling lady.  And then there's the Brownriggs, the previous owners of our home.  We have dug up many a perennial of theirs, ploughed through their previous gardens, and built a porch right where their perhaps long-established flower bed lay.  But now I am re-using some of their plants and hopefully honouring the hard work and time they put into their gardens prior to our aggressive occupation.

Mary Mary

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