Landscape Redesign


In my decade old garden the bulbs and perennials cry out for more room and this year I have the time to devote to a redesign.  We will see how far I get once I dig in, because I have learned that projects tend to take longer than anticipated and
although we had temps in the high 70’s this week they are predicting our first snow next week.  A nursery of tried and hardy plants begging to be spread to other garden beds or have their existing homes widened is a wonderful problem to have.  The cost is especially appreciated, as is the lack of volunteer weeds that often accompany new plants purchased from another nursery or a friend’s crowded garden.

Any big attempt deserves a plan and goals that I can visualize.  I like to ask myself, “What does that look like?” when I want something.  A happy garden with blooms throughout spring, summer, and fall is a huge goal with a multitude of necessary steps to get there.  My landscape on paper helped me create a step-by-step garden redesign plan that reminded me of the life plan I drafted recently.  Multiple moves dictate a process of bite-sized goals.   I cannot move the daisies until the blue fescue vacates their current hot home for a cooler semi-shaded bed that is weed-free and double-dug.  This is simpler than the weeding out of negative messages and habits I picked up at work and planted in my persona over the past decade, but I find gardening conducive to reflection and picture some of that refuse in my wheelbarrow along with the crab grass and root-tangled clumps of dirt headed for the village’s burn pile.  I highly recommend gardening for anyone experiencing a life change; creative solutions are born out of creative pursuits.

Planning does not get the job done, however, and although the meteorologists usually predict snow long before it arrives, past seasons have shown that my window is two weeks at most for roots to acclimate and ultimately survive the winter.  Grass invaded my beloved red bee balm, one of the super stars of my garden, and provided another lesson in patience (I recognize a trend in this area).  Because the bee balm roots are
very tender I carefully dug up the root ball and spent three hours teasing the grass roots out.  This tedious exercise provided much-needed motivation for pulling any grass I see in my beds as soon as I spy it from here on.  I started with two bee balm plants and now have six that are so happy they do not have to share nutrients with grass.  They didn’t tell me so, but a gardener knows.

Yesterday I raked the orange and red sugar maple leaves out of the semi-shaded garden area and watered the blue fescue and daisies in anticipation of today’s move.  I could write about my garden redesign for another hour, but with rain moving in this
evening, today is perfect for replanting so it will have to wait for another day.  Goals realized are more interesting to read about, anyway.

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