Monday, November 28, 2011

Do You Have a Plan?

Garden design for my yard which I prepared as part of a landscape design class ten years ago.

Planning seems to be a key component of my mindset of late.

My son is a high school senior and starting out his last season of varsity basketball as well. Last spring his team graduated an incredible trio of basketball players, so although the five of the seven seniors on this year's varsity squad have played together since they were eight for like what amounts to ten months a year; they need to come up with a plan of how they will replace the average 37 points the 2011 seniors brought to the net each and every game.

"So what's your plan?"

My son's bedroom is painted black, his choice. He's not emo or a goth, but he is a gamer. With his flat screen TV, the black walls and drapes give his room a theatre-surround feel. To relieve the blackness, we've taken to "writing on his wall", literally. A number of lines from video game plots and movies, along with inspirational sayings from Abraham Lincoln and Henry Ford (and maybe even Harrison Ford) are jotted on his walls.

One of the latest is:

"So what's your plan?"

Today, I stopped and picked up a book at the library and checked in with the Snow Witch (23 snowfalls predicted, 21 left to fall for those of you who are counting). Basketball is a big topic this time of year in our tiny village. I remarked how it didn't seem possible my son was a senior already, to which the librarian countered, "So does he have a plan?"

There it was again. Alas. "It is his mother who doesn't have a plan," I replied.

Empty nest. Empty home. He's my only chick and he's been gone more and more these days. Working, practice, helping out friends, helping out family. HE HAS A PLAN. A winning season in basketball, getting college credit for six of his seven Advanced Placement classes, already accepted at UW-Green Bay, majoring in chemistry, and maybe a post season run for a gold ball at State; he has a plan.

It is his mother without a plan.

Oh, I have a garden plan, as you can see here. Did I implement this garden plan? Yes, and no. I put up the fence and built the deck. I had the electrical buried and the left border is as drawn. The maple has not yet grown into these dimensions and its trunk is still outside the border's bedline. The planting area on the right lower side has retained that shape, but has been beefed up to a shrub and tree border. The dwarf plum died and I thought it might be a better idea to plant the 'Beauty of Moscow' lilac a bit farther from the deck. The small unlabeled shrub was replaced by a dappled willow, the chokeberry was moved next to it.

None of the paved areas have been paved, much to my chagrin during mud season. I haven't built a garage. Separating the southern part of my yard from the rest is a very low dry stack brick wall and pergola. I do have the utility shed that was a supposed temporary storage solution.

I reconsidered planting any type of shrub literally on top of my well head and dry laid 16" square pavers on sand there instead.

My deck lacks the overhead structure and railings I hoped to build. Maybe next summer, after I replace the one board that has dry rotted in the decking (no matter that I have kept it regularly painted!).

And the roofline of my house has changed. I bumped out the attic space for a master bedroom loft. And smack dab in the middle of what would be the central green space I have a square-ish potager, because of my new mantra, "Grow what you eat."

Instead of a rose garden I have hydrangeas and a carpet rose hedge. The peach has been planted and died, but not before giving me a couple dozen of incredibly sweet peaches to remember it by. I have planted other small fruiting trees, an apple, a sweet cherry, grapes, a pear, and an apricot, and laid out a strawberry bed and blueberry bushes; mostly as part of the right hand shrub and hedge border.

There will be changes between a written plan and its implementation. It is easier to color inside the lines. The first step is to have a plan.

So what's the plan?

1 comment:

  1. I can't ever make heads or tails out of those garden plans.

    My gardens tend to be plant first, design later... The paths develop organically, with the plants being moved as necessary... sometimes.

    I'd rather walk around a nice plant than move it out of the path, but it makes it difficult to invite people to walk through the garden.

    Do I have a plan? sorta.