My mind can finally rest about the garden. Friday was warm, and Saturday was above freezing. Both days I dug holes and moved plants. Then Sunday, as it snowed, I finally found a way to plot out my ideas for how to change everything.
The thing I love about gardening, aside from the fact that I get to be outside, and it connects me to the earth and all the little creatures — worms, birds, bees, bunnies — is that I can change it every year, like moving all the furniture around in a room to create a space that feels new and different.
At the end of every summer, I think, “Everything in the garden is good, I don’t need to change anything next year.” And then February comes, and I’ve been inside too long, and I decide everything, in fact, could be better. If I just transplant these daisies which are blocking the sun for half the bed, and pull out these Russian sages that are hidden by the Black Eyed Susans, and put some perennials in the new bed because really, that one was fine for its first year, but the annuals-from-seed took too long to come in, and then they were messy and too tall and reality didn’t match the tidy vision I’d laid out on graph paper.
My main objective this year was to break up a huge clump of Shasta daisies that look gorgeous during the 2 week period they’re in bloom, but the rest of the season are poorly placed — they get too tall and block a large swath of prime bed space. Their placement bothers me every year until they bloom, and then I can overlook it while they make me happy with their bright cheery blossoms, and then after the blooms fade, they irritate me again.
So Friday, when it was warm, I started breaking up the Shasta daisies, all 40 square feet of them. I completely rearranged the new bed I created last February on my latest grass-killing spree, and anchored the bed with a clump of transplanted daisies. I filled in the rest of the bed with flowers that will complement them in bloom time and in color, so that I don’t have to wait until July for something to happen like I did last year.
And, on Sunday, I finally figured out a way to plot out plants in a way that I can visualize how they’ll look in the space. I photographed the back beds, then annotated the photos using Preview on my mac. I had to combine two pictures to get a full panorama of the back hill, but I think I’ve finally (mostly) gotten to a point where next time it’s warm enough to work in the garden, I know which plants to move and where. The images aren’t perfect — the perspective is weird because of the hill and the angle, so the spacing isn’t super accurate — but they’re good enough for me to finally be able to rest my mind, now that the ideas are documented instead of me having to hold the vision in my brain.
Now I just need good weather and time. I’m dying to get everything moved and for stuff to start growing again.