Saturday, July 17, 2010

An Overwhelming Urge

Normally I can put the gardening urge on the back burner in favor of cabin building. Coming back from the gardens of Buffalo I couldn't help myself and dove into tidying up the wild exuberance that I call my garden. The Ox-Eye Daises were past their prime and it was time for them to go. The idea of a proper front bed is outlined in woodchips at least.

You see, I saw things.

I saw elegant, lush, organized and exuberant gardens. These are some of the gardens of Lancaster Avenue in Buffalo that will be on the upcoming GardenWalk.

The plant palette is identical as far as I can tell. My two dahlias did not survive this past winter though. I heard and saw that many were lost down here by those lulled into not digging and storing them for the winter. So be it. Gardy ain't going to be digging no tubers in the fall with this much ground to tend.

The plants may be the same, but the setting is entirely different. I love this formality, but I don't see it in my future.

The Viburnums will do fine in a more natural setting and I know several places were some are going to fall out of the ground.

So I came home and got busy. At the very least a little definition of the wild abandon would help. The roadside grass outside the rickety fence got whacked to start. Amazing what a little mowing can do to create the feeling of organized.

All the fading Ox-Eye Daisies in the roadside bed were cut back. It is time for the Miscanthus and later blooming perennials to begin to shine. I took this picture after the chicory had closed for the day so as not to be distracted by all that heavenly blue.

And I had to dive into the roadside vegetable garden. A week away at this time of year is potentially dangerous. At least it got watered and harvested. There are nice neat rows of tomatoes and peppers mixed in with all those sunflowers.

And I told you there was corn in there. My timing of the two plots of sweet corn was off. They are both blooming at the same time. The intent was to space them a couple of weeks apart. It will be more corn than we and the raccoon can eat at once.

I have this notion about the kind of garden I would eventually like to end up with.

It should be lush and natural looking, filled with carefree plants that take to the conditions of the site. I just want to be the sole decision maker about what plants they will be and where they will go.

I can do zen and stone and shade. I may even need to borrow this fountain idea.

And this is what I have to work with and where I have made more beginnings.

My first day back I went to work work, the paying kind, and four Oak leaf Hydrangeas fell out of the ground. They joined the other plantings I have done this year on the slope below the scenic byway. Today I managed to mulch all the new plants with woodchips.

In this more open sunnier area I have now planted the four Oakleaf Hydrangea, two Calycanthus floridus, two clumping bamboos and one Silverbell tree, Halesia carolina.

It's looking a little more garden like.

Having spent a good deal of the last two days out there, I know it stops traffic or brings it to a crawl.

Even if it doesn't look quite like one of those well groomed or faux natural perennial extravaganza city gardens, it has a certain something. Enough to lure people in.

It can only get better with time and selection.


Anonymous said...

It's funny how a gardener can be driving or walking along and suddenly,out of all the sterility (or wildness, in your case), there arises a proliferation of all kinds of plants. You say to yourself, "there be a fellow gardener", and drive/walk on with a smile. Such is your place from the road!


Cyndy said...

That is a showstopping roadside planting! Plants falling out of the ground - it's a dream job. I too had a need to tidy up when I returned from the tidy city gardens of Buffalo, but I'm sure the urge will pass:) Thanks for the vernonia pointers, it seems to be holding up nicely in the eastside meadow. I owe you a delicious muffin - it was great meeting you!

Carol Michel said...

"Gardy ain't going to be digging no tubers in the fall..." Love that! I don't like to plant stuff that I have to dig up in the fall, either. I will drag a pot or two of rain lilies into the garage, but that's it.

Your gardens look great. I bet if a Buffalonian gardener came by he/she would be wishing they had that kind of space to have a more natural, exuberant garden that slows traffic down like yours does!

Jeff Branch said...

I am going to bookmark this page due to all the plant ideas. I like the viburnums and wonder if they will work in my yard.

Benjamin Vogt said...

I recently spent a week away from teh garden, too, and it is hard to do this time of year! Must be what new mothers feel when they go back to work? Eh. After just one week things had grown a foot and were blooming--could have somethign to do with the 8" of rain this month, which is why things are also leaning. Your spread is looking better every year.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your garden is gorgeous Christopher. It is fun to go around to see other gardens. One gets so much inspiration for things to come.

Cindy, MCOK said...

Christopher, I came home from Buffalo with lots of ideas and even more happy memories. It was great to see you and Ani again!