Many years ago there was a bare hillside of dirt that needed covering. I started with grass seed. Real gardening was a long way off. Nature supplied its own seed. I just removed what I didn't like. Bit by bit plants were added. It was experimental in some respects just to find out what would survive.
Many years later, three one gallon pots of the cotoneaster 'Streib's Findling' have covered a sizeable piece of a slope that is basically too steep to garden on. I thought a ground cover was the best option. An evergreen ground cover for the barren time was even better.
The flat dark green in the center left is the cotoneaster. Just to the right, the collection of brown sticks is a patch of Flowering Raspberry, Rubus odoratus mixed with a few wild hydrangea. It has always bothered me. Not the plants themselves, but the shape, form and size of this mass in this particular spot in relation to what is happening around it. It is crowding my other plantings.
I have decided it is time for the raspberry to go and for the cotoneaster to take up this space. I'm sure I can find homes for some of the raspberry. The hydrangea is basically a weed. I have plenty of it.
During the time of vegetation, Joe Pye Weed comes up in the cotoneaster. That arrangement can also be expanded. I have a new chore for a nice winter day when the temperature is above my minimum operating level.
In the not to distant future, the evergreen Under Garden of winter interest will play a more significant role during the time of vegetation. The Tall Flower Meadow will become more refined as it dances through. As things mature, it will become the garden.
Then I will claim, this is what I intended all along. It will be the truth, sort of.
The real truth is I intended to play, keeping the big picture and future in mind. It helps knowing that this play is never absolute or set in concrete. I can always change my mind and rearrange things. I have my eye on a few other improvements to the overall design.
It is a sign to have reached this point in the life of the garden.