The day started well enough... I won the poetry contest for Botanical Interest seeds at Garden Rant! That kind of thing doesn't happen to me every day. I was thrilled to make my picks and I can't wait to get those seeds sown.
The garden was sunny this morning, and freshly washed from recent rains. I took a few pictures, although I don't have anything new to say since the last time I had something to say about the garden.
My problems started today when I decided to leave the garden...
In a nutshell, because I'm not going to dwell on it: I locked myself out of my car while parked downtown at a hardware store that I went to to get a new handle for my refrigerator door which broke last night while pulling it open, and in so doing, nicked a bit o' flesh off my knuckle--ouch! It took an hour for assistance to arrive, and it was cold--but at least not raining. I could have tweeted about it if I'd read the part about text messaging, but I didn't. Then, I went to three hardware stores around town looking for a little piece of proprietary hardware that my contractor used to install the handles ("pulls") of my refrigerator door. Well, this little combination screw and threaded insert thingamabob does not exist in commerce, at least not in this country (it's apparently measured in metric, while American hardware is still on the English system). So now I have to chase down my contractor and get him to come over. Have you ever tried to do that before? Bleh! We've decided to entice him over with the promise of some electrical work.
The moral is, never leave your garden. Or maybe, don't open your refrigerator. I'm not sure which.
Anyway, back home...
In the cold light of day, the garden was stark and high constrast. But I don't mind.
I've been thinking about painting the garden fence. (The thought recurs frequently.) What color? Gray-green? I think that's the classic neutral color choice for a wall that you want to feel receding away from you. In a small garden, one does want the garden walls to recede, not "pop".
In the meantime, some lichen is already painting the fence.
Over at Gardening Gone Wild, Nan Ondra and Steve Silk recently wrote about using grayscale photography to assess your garden's design. The thought is, by removing the element of color, your garden's tonal range will reveal something about your garden's structure.
Even on an overcast day with better photography conditions, big chunks of my garden would fail this analysis as the tonal range is very narrow.
I get their points, but I'm going to hold off on using this analysis for a few years while young plants grow. The contribution from the gray manzanita will change dramatically when its shaggy red stems elongate vertically. It won't always be a low blob on the ground blurring without contrast into the gray Island buckwheat (Eriogonum arborescens) growing nearby.
Sometimes I wonder if it even makes sense to apply the same design rules to very small gardens that you would use for more substantial spaces. It's hard to back up and take in the big picture in a small garden. Most of your time is spent focused up close on small views.
Should tonal range be a priority? I'm always confused and unsure about color theory.
Despite how green or lush the garden may look to visitors from snowy landscapes, the garden is relatively spare right now compared to what's just around the corner.