My wife and I managed to score a few free hours this past Saturday morning before the never ending softball cycle kicked into high gear. We spent it touring a few gardens as part of an organized local garden tour. It was warm and sunny and I was ready to get my booty inspired and steal some ideas from these extravagant and lush gardens.
Spoiler alert: It didn’t happen.
I won’t go into any specifics and call out any particular gardens, but I left the tour completely uninspired. We didn’t spend more than 10 minutes at any of the gardens we visited. I wanted to see “gardens” and all we really saw were exquisitely landscaped properties.
I appreciate a nice bed line as much as the next guy and understand the importance of mulch, but when they become the star attraction, color me bored and uninterested. Listen, I have my share of what is often considered to be a “boring” and landscaper friendly shrub like a spirea, but when they dominate the garden, I’m out. A garden needs a certain level of messiness and a “Wow, what is that plant?” feel in order to pull me in and none of these gardens provided that vibe.
If I had to sum it up in one word, I want my garden to be dynamic. It needs to feel like it has a life of its own, that it changes on a daily basis, that while one perennial is putting on its last flush of blooms, another is ready to take its place. I want movement with the wind. I want flower petals on the ground next to a shrub with flowers that are about to pop. I want to sense that the gardener struggled to pull all it all together and still has work to do.
While I have light years to go to achieve a level of dynamic that is most likely impossible in this lifetime, it is what makes me most proud of my garden today. It is what drives all of my garden design decisions. It is what keeps me up at night. It is the reason I tour the garden each and every morning knowing I’ve going to witness something new. All the mulch in the world can’t compete with two perennials that entwine in a perfect match of contrast and similarity.
With that in mind, my garden as it stands today and how it is acting all dynamic and shit.
The ‘Bowl of Beauty’ peony is still putting out fresh blooms each morning.
But time is quickly running out with these daily reminders.
Even after the blooms have disappeared or faded, the Allium are still lending an incredible visual in tune with the rest of the garden in its path.
It is always around this time each year when the ornamental grasses subtly announce their presence. And when they do, it seems to tie the entire garden together.
Some of the grasses have even begun to reveal their multi colored highlights, even more pronounced covered in raindrops.
My Itea ‘Henry’s Garnet’ are blooming and while we all know they dominate the most in autumn with their garnet fall color, I still think the blooms are underrated.
Back to another question of the day and thank you to all of you who have responded to date. You are providing great info for all of us.
QOTD – What would you consider to be the most dynamic plant in your garden today and why?
Leave a comment with your response.