Botanical reference aside, I’ve decided to make every attempt to do at the very least a weekly posting. I make no promises as to quality of content. Posted subject matters will be whatever has come to mind in the previous hours or weeks and on topics I hope will be of interest/help to any budding (giggle) gardeners who may be reading them. So let’s start. One of the ways I attempt to maintain sanity during the greyness of deepest winter is to assemble lists of plants offered by favorite nurseries that I would like to add to the garden. It can provide a wealth of distraction on evenings when I’m too tired to do much else. It also helps fuel an active fantasy life while simultaneously permitting me to exercise some restraining judgement by categorizing and prioritizing future accessions. Translation: a thinning process will be required to deal with the realities of economics and time.
Having done that several times between the end of December and the end of February, a list is produced, usually about 2/3rds less than what I started with, of desired items that might actually have half a chance of being purchased. Once this is completed, the cold shower treatment consisting of determining just how to use them all can begin. This year, a couple of weeks ago, I looked at the reduced list – remember, too, that I have a particular fondness for trees and shrubs – and thought to myself, “Just where the hell do you think you are going to put all this stuff?” That was a new experience! The garden’s first residents were planted 13 years ago; space – we cultivate about 2 1/2 acres for the actual garden – has never been a problem. Plants, if happy, generally have a way of growing and consideration for prospective new neighbors does not enter into the process. For the first time, it looks as if I am going to have to be ruthless in my judgement of prospective new plants as well as deciding what, if anything, that is already in the garden needs to go or at least be moved or seriously controlled. Having started with a blank slate of grass (more or less), this is a new problem. It is a nice problem to have, meaning that the garden is growing and maturing and changing apace; a reminder that the art is not a static one. If you want static in a garden, then use plastic. Next time we will talk about some of the selection process used to decide what to get and what to keep/modify as it applies to trees especially. CJ