If you have "no place to go," come here!

Gardendote of the day 2013-09-07

This is a corner, in fact, several corners. The orange lines show where people walk past: The sidewalk at left, the driveway at bottom, the new path I built this summer at top left. The corner "works" because there is a tiny changing vista or viewshed for people in motion, whether along the multi-colored zinnia border, along the niche of hollyhocks and columbines, or along the black-eyed susan and (not visible) ornamental grasses of the path. Also, each pathway has a visual sequence created by the "strips" behind the corner: The Clover Strip, the Rock Garden Strip, a Flowering Strip, a second Flowering Strip, and the pedestrian's eye is led across the strips to a vertical: The red and white geraniums on the stump, and the filbert tree (visible as a green blotch, though I forgot to label it because it isn't a flower).

So for the first time I feel like I am working in three dimensions, and not two. A vista, not a bed; a globe, and not a map. Now I think a real gardener would be able to think in at least four dimensions, and arrange the plantings to flower in sequence. And there is also the issue of companion planting to consider -- could I get vegetables in there?

And the hollyhocks were really kind of a disaster; I planted them, first, with not enough sun, and moved them too late, they they never flowered and got attacked by some sort of blight. Still, they, and the "???" with the round leaves and pretty red flowers, did nothing whatever until I sheet mulched them; then they took off.

So, a Grandmother's garden, but an English grandmother's garden (befitting a WASP). Ragged around the edges, lots of faded glory, plants doing what they want to do... But people -- although perhaps they're being nice, even though this is not Minnesota -- never commment on the mess, and there is a good deal of mess. They always say how beautiful it is. So the trick, I suppose, is to lead the eye....

NOTE The previous area I (I suppose) designed also worked out brilliantly, but I wasn't really thinking in three dimensions on that project.

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Submitted by lambert on

There is a family joke (which I never got the point of) about not being able to remember the name "nasturtium" and here I find myself living it out.

Submitted by hipparchia on

yes, they do. I've tried for a couple of years now to grow them because my mom likes them as salad garnish, but they don't seem to like it here so I've never gotten a chance to taste them.