Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How I Garden In The Wilderness

There is a master plan in my head of space. Right now it is mostly a wild empty space. I plan to fill it up. ( There could be a joke in there. :)

Unlike the clients I work for there is no budget and no set finished product. There is plenty of time and some weird magnetic attraction that causes plants of all kinds and from all kinds of sources to follow me home.

With that master plan of space in my head and knowledge of what a plant's needs are and what it becomes, I find a place to plant the plants that follow me home. I weed out a spot in the wild and over half the time I manage to mulch the plants with wood chips right after it goes in the ground.

Last week three Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium followed me home.

With the recently acquired Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Gold Mop', the beginnings of the bed below the front porch of the cabin continues to take shape. Last year several rooted stems of Aesculus parviflora were discovered and one of them was planted and mulched in this bed to be.

A golden leaved cultivar of Cotinus coggygria was moved to a sunnier location across the path from the bed below the front porch this year and has rewarded me by maintaining its golden color. In the previous shadier location it turned green after leafing out and sulked.

The theory is with my limited time to work in my own garden, gardening mainly in stolen moments, the mulch not only helps keep the soil moist, but it helps keep the wild at bay while the new plants have a chance to grow. Every so often I manage to patrol the newly planted plants and weed around them as needed. Growth, continued plantings, continued mulching, regular weed patrols and enough time in my own garden could merge on day to the point where the wild in between the plants is less and a garden will all of a sudden appear one spring.

Big fat drifts of perennials, well placed shrubs throughout, in large mulched beds could one day a garden be.

Or not. I see what goes on around here. The cultivated are encouraged by their wild brethren to let loose and run wild.

They mingle.

And are seduced by the carefree abandon of their wild cousins.

All of a sudden one fine spring a garden of exuberant chaos could emerge.

I am prepared for that. Maybe.

My old fartness is not so far around the corner. I will be lucky to have my own garden largely planted by the time it arrives

Then I will be old and there will hopefully still be all this land, even more of it in wild cultivation, and a gardener with too big of an appetite and a staff of one. I will weed out a spot in the wild for the plants that follow me home. Mulch them with wood chips to keep the wild at bay so they have a chance to grow and patrol the grounds editing the chaotic exuberance.


Anonymous said...

How could it be any other way? After all, you are the son of the resident gardeners.

Lola said...

The beauty of the wild is enjoyed regardless of time or age. I think it is a sign of rejuvenation. Something for us to look forward to each Spring. That helps in all our glory. We tend to follow those before us.

Siria said...

A garden of exuberant chaos ... I like that thought. Somehow I get the feeling yours will be more of an organized garden of exuberant chaos. :)

Anonymous said...

Sallysmom said it! You can't help it - although I agree with Siria,you may tend toward the more organized. It will be interesting to see how the site remolds you - or you it!