Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Forest Takes. I Push back

If only I had had a little more time before the bloggers arrived to do some weeding. Things were a bit too hectic though for me to do much more than weed whack a path through the Lush. As it was, the Lush was already approaching four feet high. The forest is forever trying to take the garden becoming back into its clutches once the time of growing begins.

If I had been able to do some weeding the bloggers may have gotten a better idea of what I was up to and how much has been planted. In the four foot tall Lush, all the work I have done was hard to find.

Only a little follow up work remains post Fling. It was time to exhale. Weeding is an exercise in zen, very helpful for the winding down process.

In the wild Lush of the forest, weeding is also an exercise in determination. The garden to be will not be swallowed up this year. I spent a good 12 hours weeding over three days. I attacked four native species I consider invasive thugs to keep things focused. New England Aster was my primary target. Elderberry, blackberry and Clematis virginiana were also pulled as I covered large parts of the garden.

I barely had time to settle in back home when the PBS show GardenSmart came to film on the Wednesday after Fling. Seems a little bird told them about Asheville Fling 2012 and they wanted to talk blogging and to see some of the gardens the bloggers had visited. He wanted two. I offered five. He picked Wamboldtopia and the wild cultivated gardens high on the low spot of a North Carolina mountain top.

They arrived at my place first and asked where the garden was. I pointed off into the Lush from the front porch. Nobody said a word. Once we went next door to Bulbarella's garden he said, now I get it.

If only I had had a little more time to do some weeding before the bloggers and GardenSmart came, all the work I have done, all the baby shrubberies, ground covers and perennials I have planted might have been more apparent.

No matter. This garden is for me for the duration. The garden to be is not going to be swallowed up by the Lush this year, not after all the work I have done to get the bone structure of a garden planted. Twelve hours of weeding out the thugs has made a big difference. I even found things I like and left such as Joe Pye Weed, Ironweed and a mystery plant I have to watch to find out what it is.

GardenSmart can come back to film again in another ten years. Then they won't have to go next door to get it. In another ten years my garden may just start to look more like Peter and Jasmin Gentling's garden.

I keep at it. I keep adding. I keep subtracting. The Campanula medium, Canterbury Bells I grew from seed and planted four years ago are now self seeding.

All I have to do is keep the thugs at bay while the good things take over. In theory anyway.

In another six to eight weeks the PBS show GardenSmart will be featuring the Biltmore in two shows. Then for major contrast, one show will feature a short blurb on blogging and the Asheville Fling and visits to Wamboldtopia and the wild cultivated gardens at Betsys Gap, the other face of Asheville gardens.

I still need to send them a photo collection showing the gardens through the seasons. Just like the bloggers, PBS arrived at the peak of the lull between the rhododendrons and the start of the summer wildflower season. Oh well.

They said they would send me a DVD. Good thing cause I have no TV connection.


Anonymous said...

Christopher, I have to say that the term "weed" never crossed my mind while visiting your mountain top paradise. Perhaps the video cameras couldn't see past the diverse shades of greenery to notice all the tiny treasures you've tucked into the hillsides... Thanks again for all your work on the fling, and for opening your home and landscape to so many curious eyes. It was a pleasure to experience and take it all in. Andrea

tina said...

Please post a link so we can perhaps view the show?

I really enjoyed your wild garden. Especially the meadow walk between you and your mother's garden. That was a truly unique and beautiful meadow that I have never seen before.

Thanks for all your hard work on the fling.

Christopher C. NC said...

Thanks for saying so Andrea. It is always a botanical treasure hunt in these gardens, more so when all is largely green during the peak of the lull. When things are blooming it is easier to differentiate the plants. The summer bloom is just beginning.

Tina I am sure to do a post when the show comes out. You should see that meadow when the beebalm and daylilies start blooming, then into the fall with the golderod and asters.

Lola said...

It all looks fine. I do hope I can see the show here. Do let us know when it is to be aired.

Anonymous said...

Chris, those of us who have followed you on your blog can see in our minds all that you talk about even if there is no photo to show it. I don't think there is a way to have a blogging party and show all that you see growing throughout the seasons. It would take multiple visits there. Please keep us updated about the show. Sallysmom

Fairegarden said...

Your blog readers see the vision of the garden to be as clearly as you do. I am sure Bulbarella was thrilled at the tv crew in her garden, as she was when the bloggers were there. Has she come back down to earth yet?


Anonymous said...

I am amused by their question, "Where's the garden?" Just goes to show how people have a preformed concept in their heads as to what a 'garden' should be. I much prefer your concept of a garden, and I know your other readers do too!


Kathy said...

You have taken on a never-ending task keeping the Lush in its place. I know from my own experience you have to keep at it. It was great to see your work in progress.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I could see where you are going with your garden Christopher. I Am so glad I got to see it in it's infancy. I know it will be a show place when you have a few more years to work in the garden. If your garden turns out half as nice as the CC you will have a garden that will certainly rival the Gentling's garden.

thistleandthorn said...

I'm thinking ten years from now these people will be glad they have the record of how your garden looks today. They will not have to wait that long before the "oh, I get it" dawns on them, but ten years hence, the Lush will be a pure showcase of your editing talent. Maybe by them I'll get to see it, too.
PS... Your photography is something we could all -- including the professionals -- learn from.

Siria said...

WOW ~ How exciting!!! Can't wait to see the show!

Skeeter said...

Where's the Garden? Ha, the garden was all around us! We could see the gardens of new, of old and of future! I can only imagine the meadow filled with Bee Balm. Mine is blooming now and giving a wonderful show and the bees are loving it... Cant wait to see the show on PBS...

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Looking forward to seeing it!!!