Friday, April 17, 2015

No Garden Envy

I could have phlox envy if I was the sort to have garden envy.

But I am the one responsible for all this phlox and get to see it a couple times a week. I don't have to have it myself.

That is one of the perks of being a peasant gardener. I spend all my days in gardens. I may covet a particular plant and those are easy enough to come by, but I never really covet a garden or am envious of what it has except on very rare occasions.

Good thing because my patch of phlox is significantly smaller by comparison. I could get a wild hair up my okole and decide to cover the whole left bank with phlox, but I don't want to do that. I have other blooming things planted there. My wild hair is to get the center weed strip of my gravel driveway filled with phlox. That would be fun.

One thing I have learned as a gardener is that nature has the capacity for enormous abundance even under rude conditions. There is no such thing as a shortage of plants. I am forever bringing home the unwanted offspring, strays, wounded, and threatened things I find in the gardens I tend.

Did I really rescue a Showy Orchis? It would have been sprayed dead where it was living. At this point I don't know what else it could be.

I have always had my own garden. It has always been a bit different, more experimental, more wild and eccentric than the gardens I tend. I find new and interesting plants like this Shredded Umbrella Leaf, Syneilesis aconitifolia, and will try them out first at home. If they look good, are well behaved and are not bug candy, then they may get planted in a client's garden.

The wild cultivated gardens were blessed with large quantities of trilliums. I like trilliums. I like them so much I needed more. I moved some out of the deep forest. I bought a whole bunch and got one as a gift. Five new species of trilliums have been added to the garden. They are starting to multiply.

Many of the gardens I tend should have trilliums, but they don't. Maintaining a certain garden aesthetic pushes them out. I would have to plant trilliums in a proper bed to bring them back to a garden where they belong.

It is the opposite of this aesthetic. This is my lawn if you want to call it that. It could use more violets.

I garden in nature and with nature. There is nothing proper about it. It is a very different aesthetic than the gardens I tend.

But I am conducting an experiment in a new woodland garden planted two years ago. The beds are only getting leaf litter, no mulch. I have been editing instead of weeding. Already the wild things that belong are coming back. Toothwort and Dicentra have returned. The asters and ferns are arriving. Maybe the trilliums will find their way home.


Rebecca said...

Well, I DO have a degree of "garden envy"! Your nothing-proper-about-it aesthetic is PERFECT - and I still say you need to write a book. You have a unique and descriptive writing style that matches your improper property.

Christopher C. NC said...

Thank you for the kind words Rebecca. I am quite fond of my improper garden. I just came in from two hours of editing and am amazed at the change that is happening from what it was in the beginning.

Lisa Greenbow said...

Love those natives.

Lola said...

I love your editing. I was always amazed with our place. Didn't recognize it the last time I saw it. So sad.

Christopher C. NC said...

Me too Lisa and their numbers are increasing exponentially now.

Edit and they will come Lola. Stop editing and the thugs will take over and smother things out.