Sunday, March 2, 2014

Appreciating Plants Just as They Are

Smoke bush 'Nordine'

I think as gardeners, we tend to have fanciful visions this time of year as to what our gardens will look like come high summer.  I dare say last summer, with my garden featured on the county's Master Gardeners' Garden Walk, my garden was close to the best it has ever been.  This year with my newly developed frailty, I have wondered what I will be able to do in the garden.

One of my many sisters called me last night and being on top of one of my "I'm making progress" days, I repeated a commonly used phrase about being able to change what I can and not worrying about what I can't.  I think that is a phrase a lot of us gardeners need to take more to heart.

I have a lot of gardener friends who are minimally a generation older than myself.  In recent years, a lot more of them have been going to growing their annuals in pots, planting more shrubs with interesting green foliage and or flowers in place of perennials, and concentrating on making it easier to maneuver in their gardens.  This has not made their gardens any less beautiful or less exciting.

I realize there is a lot to interest me in my own garden even if I didn't plant a single pot or bed out any annuals.  There is no pressure to do anything other than cut back the perennials, do some weeding, and mulch.  I may resort to something like Preen this year, just to keep weed seeds at bay.  My son and his girl friend might be doing the mulching.  I will probably plant some pots and window boxes because it is simple to do and thanks to a garden friend I will have begonias, fuschia, and coleus from my last summer's garden to plant them.

I don't have to do anything else.  I have a minimal lawn to mow,  It forms the paths in my garden.  I may look at setting up a better way to get water to distant parts of my yard, as lugging the hose may be a challenge.  I may sit and enjoy the garden more, or simply walk in it; but a lot of my garden will be fabulous even if there was no one to enjoy it.

Clematis texensis 'Princess Diana' is one of just a dozen clematis I have added to my garden over the last couple years.

Seeming to frame the border of my neighbors' house, this is actually my long border running along a dark brown stained fence.  I have new neighbors, who I have heard "are nice." It might be fun to have neighbors on my west property line who would actually respond to a greeting.

A lot of gardeners shudder at the mention of campanula, but this one is a show-stopper and has not been too hard to control, flowering for 6-8 weeks.  Dead-heading will get repeat bloom.

Properly placed and nourished daylilies are always a winner.  This year I will have some incredible ones from last year's late fall splurge.

Even if I don't get any hazelnuts, dang squirrels (we're 2-2), the fall foliage is incredible on this native.

Who doesn't enjoy pink climbing roses and my silly pink chairs? (Rose 'William Baffin' of the Canadian Explorer Series)

I didn't get any of the Seckle pears last year, but it wasn't because there were none...

This perennial mum always attracts lots of red bodied dragonflies.

Honey bees adore this caryopteris 'Dark Knight'.
So I will have roses, hydrangea, and clematis, and a lot more.  I will have lots of honey bees, dragonflies, and hawk moths.  Perhaps my dog will be able to come home.  Robins have already told me how much they enjoy the shelter and food my garden can provide.  I will appreciate my garden and its plants just as it is.



  1. I LOVE your "silly" pink chairs. Talk about the perfect Vignette!

  2. A lot of us gardeners are too restless, we have ants in our pants, we want to make changes all the time. And when I say "a lot of us" I mean me. There is definitely value in letting the garden be, appreciate what you have and slow down.