11/5/09

The garden of recent realizations.

This year's jack o lantern retired to an obscure corner. I realize it will get much scarier soon...

Asclepias curassavica, Cestrum elegans

I realized this half-barrel would be better used to grow a Southern highbush blueberry than the make-believe herb garden it used to contain.

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I rarely cook with herbs. What's the point?

(Wouldn't you think at this point in my life I'd be tired of tinkering with my garden and just settle down on a general design and be happy with it? I realized I'm starting to feel that way--after 3 years of constant tinkering. Constant tinkering, constant learning, and lots of changing of mind. )

For the first time ever I realized that the native perennial bunch grasses I've allowed to proliferate to their hearts' content do in fact look like weeds, just as many anti-native, anti-meadow garden critics contend.

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But I have not resolved to do anything about it. Still, I realized that 1) I have sudden empathy for the native haters, and 2) non-gardeners (and some gardeners) who visit my garden must be appalled.

I also realized that I'm totally tired of winter...and it's only November.

Vitis californica, Fremontodendron californica

Red grape leaves are so over.

Vitis californica

Just like Heidi Klum says, "In fashion, one day you're in. The next day you're out.

Vitis californica

I'm tired of you.

Vitis californica

Dahlia imperialis is blooming.

Dahlia imperialis

Finally, I was able to obtain the regular species after getting stuck with the boring 'Double White' for so many years. I was not surprised to realize that I am much happier now. Unfortunately, while trying to take a picture, I realized that recent storms bent the growing tip out of shape, and now the flowers are bent over in a funny angle that prevents me from photographing them very well. Close-ups will have to do this year. But next year, I'll propagate the heck of this plant and have a lot more of it.

I've decided to do something bold (?) and let the passion flowers spread on the ground.

Passiflora sp.

I realize this might sound like a crazy idea. But I can always prune. And I can never do the opposite. (Know what I mean?) Anyway, a couple passionflowers have climbed shrubs, and they seem okay in there. Not too aggressive. Now they're sending out stems from the crown that are creeping along the ground. I'll keep you posted...

What else...

'Honey Bouquet'

I really like this 'Honey Bouquet' rose.

'Honey Bouquet'

I'm excited about the Fuchsia splendens I'm growing from seed; apple green leaves on vigorous plants, and considerable neglect from me. I realized I should be growing these in place of the too-fine textured cuphea. Cuphea, buh-bye.

Fuchsia splendens

I see flower buds in the higher reaches of Tithonia diversifolia. All the giant asters grow so fast.

Tithonia diversifolia

And that's it.

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Here are a couple big pictures. Looking at them, I realize that the garden feels sparer and easier to get around in now, as it does every year at this time...moving in to winter.

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11 comments:

Matt said...

Great job Chuck! You eally get the max out of every square foot. Very cool!

Brent said...

My recently planted Aristida pupurea went in more formal rows in order give passers by the idea that it isn't just a random weed.

queerbychoice said...

Non-gardeners wouldn't be appalled by your native grasses, because non-gardeners don't share gardeners' horror of weeds. This is because they have no idea of the harm that weeds do to other plants, and also because they pretty much can't tell the difference between weeds and any kinds of plants at all. I know that as far as Susan is concerned, there are only about five kinds of plants: plain green, taller plain green, green with pretty flowers, taller green with pretty flowers, and "it looks dead."

Anyway, I like your native bunchgrasses. I even like non-native bunchgrasses. I always allow my volunteer bunchgrasses to grow as much as they like, because they don't take over and destroy everything else in sight like the volunteer turfgrasses do.

Christopher C. NC said...

I am not surprised you are still tinkering. You are more interested in the plants and using the Back 40 as a place to grow them than using the space as a place to hold court. Tinkering will only stop when you get bored with the plants and the garden.

Yes the native bunch grass looks like a weed. I can see it as a foil to wildflowers in a meadow, but in a garden setting I might accidentally pull it if I was to visit.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I like how you used the barrel for your blueberry bush. I wonder why I grow herbs too, I don't like cooking, and I've given up wasting space on vegetable because no one eats anything other than tomatoes or zucchini. I think the fun part of gardening is the tinkering and trying new things like you are. I've been in our garden 10 years and it's constantly changing styles.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

You know how sometimes you read a blog and you see words that make you realize exactly what you've been feeling, although you didn't really know it?

I've been generally restless this summer, too, re: my garden, and haven't been able to figure out why. But when I read that "I kind of AM tired of tinkering in the garden" sentiment on this post, I swear I heard a bell go off. And kind of felt a little relief, too. Like, "That's IT! And I'm not the only one!"

I think this needs to be pondered a bit. There has to be a happy medium, right, between wholesale changes and none at all?

Michelle said...

Maybe you need a *real* winter to deprive you of the opportunity to tinker in the garden. We're so spoiled here, we have the luxury of getting bored with gardening since we have to do it all...year...long....

I confess to wanting a gardening vacation every now and then.

Your dahlia is a bit ahead of mine, the buds are just starting to swell.

CiNdEe said...

Well I love your garden and the grasses(-: I am trying hard to grow a few that don't like me but I keep trying(-: I am always tinkering with things too(-: It makes it more fun that way(-:

Brad B said...

I never thought I'd hear passion flower and the phrase "not too aggressive" together. You're very lucky.

EAL said...

rarely cook with herbs? Why not? I agree they don't deserve a lot of place in the garden, but fresh herbs are fab. I get mine from the store.

Anonymous said...

a problem i had with a beautiful but aggressive passionflower is that it went far up into an oak tree and then died back last winter, leaving unsightly clumps of dead brown leaves all over the oak's nice green ones. it was very difficult to get them all pulled down too so this year i didn't let it climb.
i'm tired of my garden too but expect the old enthusiasm will come back in early spring. -always has!
cynthia