Saturday, November 26, 2011

De-Clutter: The Bones of the Garden

This bouquet has made me decide to change the borders of my garden to emphasize a more dreamy romantic feel.

Is there anything more romantic than pink roses hanging over old brick?

Clematis 'Josephine' does not like the heat and likes its water. You would never think we could grow such an exotic -looking clematis here in central Wisconsin, still July's heat this year almost did it in.

This unidentified mislabeled rose may be 'Pierre du Ronsard'. It is not supposed to grow here. let alone like it.

These delphiniums and sweet Williams obscure what is a nice stone cairn and "good bones' hedging.

Okay, we've had some very nice temperatures here, but a the numbers of hours of daylight are dwindling the trees are rapidly dropping their leaves. Cloudy days can obscure what seems to be any hint of sunlight, but all that leave-dropping does point up what the structure of the garden really looks like with regards to the plant material.

I spent yesterday painting trim on my house, it was that warm. The day before I took a good look at my hedges and shrubs and did some trimming. I stumbled across a tray of errant tulip bulbs getting out my step ladder from my minuscule shed, planted those. I planted just a bit more garlic in my potager, all hardneck varieties; I never did get any softneck sourced.

Today, of course it is raining buckets. I suppose it is better than the other possibility. I see the weatherman is predicting more snow than normal and colder temps than normal. I haven't heard from our local snow witch though and I trust her more than the weatherman.

Getting to the bones of the garden, though, I have to say I like what I see. The hedges look nice. The pear tree has beautiful structure. I need to top the apple tree just a bit to keep it within scale and keep it easy to pick. I have a couple other trimming jobs to keep me busy in the garden over the winter when the weather affords me opportunities and inclination to go out.

The sweet cherry, which could get 30' tall and wide and which is suffering espalier in order to be in my yard needs quite a bit of work. I topped my apricot last year, and it has put on that much growth and then some this year.

Along the side of my house I have been attempting to start an Annabelle hydrangea hedge. This I cut back to about 12" tall. I may go back through it and trim off any shoots not as thick as a pencil to encourage a more uniform, upright form.

At heart, I am a plant collector. So it is easy for me to get quite caught up in a beautiful bloom, without showcasing that plant as well as I should. I have a lot tucked into a very small space.

I think though, like decluttering a small house, less might be more. With increasing the emphasis on my potager and growing what I eat, parking three vehicles (not that I like that!), the border increasingly is where I "stick" things. I have a tiny magnolia and Japanese maple stuck in the border that need to be moved so as they grow they can be stars. What do I cut and where do I go with stuff that needs its own space? My lot is a scant 44' by 144'.

My son says to just... start.

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