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I'm a woman entering "the third chapter" and fascinated by the journey.

Friday, June 14, 2013

True Confessions

Some gardeners have discipline. Their beds are edged. The edgings all match. Their paths are easy to find and all of the same materials. Their plantings are carefully color-coordinated. They specialize in only a few types of plants and stick to one garden style. I am not one of those gardeners. What I am, I have discovered, is a plant slut.

There are very few plants that I actively dislike and (probably way too) many that I love. Even when there is a theme in mind, like a meadow garden, the results are often a little wilder than anticipated.Of course, meadow gardens are supposed to be wild, and I am still enjoying a long love affair with the native plants of our area. After all, what is there not to love about something as exuberantly gorgeous as butterfly weed, especially when it invites so many pollinators to the party, including lightning bugs?

But I can't restrict myself to only pure natives, like some of my colleagues on the Wildlife Gardeners forum. I love a lot of cultivars, like "Fireworks" goldenrod and "Tutti Frutti" hummingbird mint. 

And I totally can't resist the allure of "Sunset" (I think it was) echinacea with "Coppertina" physocarpus, a shrub that is my current passion (or one of them).
I am not even a gardener who can be satisfied with the hundreds of natives and thousands of cultivars available for our region. Part of our front walkway is edged with lavender and thyme because scent makes me happy, and plants that waft when brushed against or stepped on are among the delights of life, and  lavender is the essence of June (along with roses, which came along from the old house). I even planted buddleia next to the front door so that the scent comes into the dining room in the evening. I'm hopeless.

If I had any garden discipline, it might be possible to make the front yard an old-fashioned cottage garden, but no. We have the thyme and lavender walk and a small rose garden, but the front is home to the wild promiscuity of the driveway garden and hell strip along the street, and this spring has seen the expansion of the (mostly) native grass and wildflower garden in front of the guest room. One large open area, at least four different personalities. We did, however, move most of the daylilies into a single area, where we can enjoy their lusciousness and have some chance of protecting them from becoming deer dessert.
The condition is serious: I even like the alien punk rocker look of cardoon.
Is there a twelve-step program for plant sluts?

1 comment:

Lara Biyuts said...

Loving flowers in literature as well as in nature, I made the anchusa azurea a Blue Flower in my short story "Extraordinary Story of a Turnskin" :
Thank you for the blog post.