Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Real toads in imaginary gardens

I've been watching a few videos about gardens, they all seem to be English gardens, and discovered the designer Rosemary Verey, whose book I borrowed from the libe.  She covers a bunch of gardens she designed or had a hand in, including her own, and the pictures are lovely.  Not so much the text, which is rather a dreary list of plantings and name droppings, but nonetheless, it's always possible to learn a bit from garden books.

And I discovered there's a series of videos on YouTube, along the same line as this book, same Rosemary, same gardens, and she strolls about with their owners and staff (!) you need staff for these marvellous places.  So I recommend any of the above.

It's fun to see these amazingly successful areas, particularly when they spread over many acres, and much $$. My tiny little patio would probably take up less room than their toolshed.

But, like seeing elaborate cooking shows, you are a bit inclined to rush off and try something.  In the case of the gardening, I just ran out and cut down the dying daylily foliage and carted it out to the woods to be good for the wildlife.  It did improve the area.

Some of the principles are useful though, even if you don't have rolling acres and hot and cold running gardeners.  Such as having a vertical element in even the littlest plot.  Or remembering to have plants higher up, for interest.  As in my houseplants.  I have several hanging ones near the floor standing ones, and it does look much better than a group on the floor like a flock of quiet sheep. Outside I have the boxes I got built to sit on the fence, and they're planted with various things, a bit empty at the moment, but later there will be more to look at in there.

Out front I have the Russian sage, which comes back year after year and gives a lovely vertical element out front without being so dense as to block anything else.  Not that I'm any kind of expert, just pleased to find a touch here and there that works for me.

And groundcover, which does away with the problem of  weeding almost entirely.  A lazy gardener, I like to have some work done for me.  Groundcover, my local nursery told me, works as a mulch for potted outdoor plants over the winter, which is why my plants survive, when unprotected pots don't.

They talk a lot about color and design and blocking and succession, and I don't notice much about scents except in passing. There I take issue.  My front path is a scent walk, not visually exciting, but interesting when you pinch and sniff as you go.  Tarragon, rosemary, Thai basil, English thyme, lavender, now starting with a new flush after the harvest, regular basil, it's so good to experience them.  I invite neighbors to take some, too, since some of them are great cooks who don't grow herbs.  And the Russian sage, is taller than I am, dense with flowers and bees, and smells heavenly.  

They also rarely acknowledge the birds and animals in their gardens, which I find a major gap.

Incidentally, I'm cutting back on sending to my mailing list.  So if you don't want to miss any posts, be sure and sign up for email.  It's up there on the right, just enter your email, follow the steps it gives you, and that should work.  Let me know if you have a problem, and I'll see what I can do.

1 comment:

  1. I worked for five years in a forest research facility where the presence/influence of animals and birds was rarely considered or acknowledged. It was...odd.


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