Iterations, Indecision and Strangeness

harmonypJune 3, 2012

I amuse myself at my reaction to a self-imposed decision to stop adding roses to my garden of 80's. Decision felt so right at that moment. I so fear getting to a point where my heaven, haven, santuary, therapy becomes ... work. So, I stopped. Well, for a month I stopped.

Next, I found myself at my local, individually owned and quite unique Nursery. I "snuck" in Elle and Golden Wings. Oh am I smitten with them both. I oogle them 5 times a day. I photograph them from 20 different positions trying unsuccessfully to capture what I see.

Then, back to the Nursery and home with my first 2 Clematis, 2 red hot pokers, some day lilies, and a handful of flowering succulents which in my desert like conditions actually make wonderful rose companions. Plus a landscape container with 28 little snap dragons, which I've littered in between as many roses as I could.

Perhaps it isn't time yet. The garden and I don't appear to be ready to stop adding yet...

This is going really "out there", but...

When I moved into this place 3 years ago, I had never in my life gardened. My family never gardened, any more than planting a few fruit and flowering trees, and some spider plants. I had never had a bit of interest in gardening. There were lots of trees here, but the only flowers were 3 mini roses planted from prior renters. The other multitude of flowers that had been here were long gone. The woman who had lived here previously, passed away in the garden. It was her favorite place in the world ... her garden, and very little made her happier than spending days preening and preening her flowers here.

I hestitate to go further than already implied. But it's hard for me to not seriously question my sudden, intense, compulsive drive for gardening...

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Brittie - La Porte, TX 9a

I absolutely believe that energy remains. She obviously poured a ton of positive energy and love into the garden and I think it's natural that you'd pick up on it and feel good there too.

And as far as buiying new plants... I don't think a good gardener is ever "done." There's always something that can be fiddled with!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Gardening provides hope...that the new season will happen; that it will be better than the last; provides excitement and expectation for beauty and development and exercises the "Faith muscle". I have FAR too many roses for the available space left here, perched on this hill. Sooo, yesterday, geranium sidioides came home to snuggle up close to the sidoides "Gloriana" and Deerfield Lavender and other geraniums and pelargoniums which seem to bask in this dry, crumbly "dirt". An unnamed lavatera, might be Barnsley Pink, or not, to mirror Kew Rose which is gorgeous crowding Mary Rose. Caesalpinia mexicana has made itself QUITE at home where it's too dry, hot, exposed and steep to have to mess with roses other than the species, so gilliesii and a spontaneous hybrid with more orange to the mexicana buds sneaked into the trunk. The cacalaco probably wants the open hillside, but it is so beautifully dwarfed, corked trunk and already "trained", so it went in to one of the many bonsai pots and seems fairly happy. Whether it will eventually flower or not is immaterial. It is developing quite nicely, as is the tortured wisteria which would probably never develop into the perfect specimen like the one out front, so it will also occupy one of the bonsai pots with the cacalaco.

Emu bushes have always been wonderfully whimsical, so a small yellow one slipped by the "border guards" into the trunk to accompany the divaricata with its wonderfully blue flowers. They should look quite intersting near the Salvia chameleaagnea and muirii. Grevillea "Scarlet Hooks" finished its flowering so it will be moved to the slope to add texture and a splash of red among the yellows, oranges and blues. Fortunately, most love this dry, crumbly, intensely hot soil and southern facing hill. The only roses which seems to bask in the same conditions are Bracteata, Banksiae and the Clinophylla X Bracteata seedling. They all jostle the various pepper tree and Ca. Black Walnut seedlings and suckers to varying degress of success, but even if they aren't "Garden Queens", and even if they can't be nestled in with the others I CAN tend on the level-ish area, there is still room for things to grow and don't require my daily intervention. Those are increasingly becoming the favorites because they do their things splendidly and ignore my meddling. Kim

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 3:14PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

I was born into a family of gardeners, it seems to me that most of my earliest memories are set in my mother's, grandmother's, or aunt's gardens. For most of my life the majority of my passion went into edibles, I would plant flowers here and there for a splash of color and to attract beneficial insects but the prime real estate always went to the fruits or veggies. It wasn't until the spring after my grandmother passed away that I was suddenly bitten by the 'rose bug' and I wanted to have every rose I saw. After I had quickly accumulated a collection of over 30 roses my mother mentioned that her mother always had a rose garden, and the rose that first got me going - Joseph's Coat - was her very favorite. My mom is certainly convinced that Grandma's love for roses somehow passed to me, I don't know if that's the case but one thing I do know for sure is that my garden is much more beautiful than it used to be ;o)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 7:25PM
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flaurabunda(6a, Central IL)

I know exactly what you mean. I can't stop going back for more--whether it's another lobularia for another hanging basket that I think I can squeeze in somewhere, or I've found yet another empty pot, so I MUST need another annual to stick in it. Heaven forbid if it's a large pot; that would require another perennial.

I'm constantly trying to create more areas to garden. I have things on pedestals, up on the deck, hanging in the air, suspended from tree stumps, and crammed into every nook in the yard that gets enough sunlight. I always think I'm done until the next meandering walk through the garden, and then it's, "Hmmm....another hosta/dianthus/herb would look good there."

It never ends, and I don't want it to ever end.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 8:48PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Life is funny sometimes.

My dad fell in love with their property because of the mature orange trees and space to garden. They thought his sister would buy and move in, but she changed her mind and he could not leave the property. The house, built cheaply in 1890, was a tear down then. But that was what my aunt was going to do, my parents could not afford to do that.

It was 1965. We had a fruit stand, that changed to dad delivering veggies to markets and restaurants and then on to bees and honey and selling at the swap meet. He filled every spare foot with some kind of tree, plant or debris he planned on using.

You would have thought I would have learned gardening from him. He wrote for the paper some times, consulted on estates and back yards. But, it was HIS yard and HIS garden and things would only be done HIS way.

About 10 years ago in his mid 80's he realized it was more than he could do. It was in little steps at first he let me clean up places and move or remove plants and trees.

Even though he hated seeing them go, he started to see that his vision of gardening was not being thrown out. Maybe I did learn after all and just never realized it. Mom is now in her late 80's and finally getting to enjoy the garden. The biggest tomatoes, zucchini to share etc.

We both look back and try and remember how the yard looked 10 years ago. It has really changed so much, but in the end, I think my dad would approve. Mom and I have both realized that if we had started this clean up years before, he might have been able to enjoy the changes. He would have hated the white picket fencing...but the places to sit, the new fruit trees and the giant garden would have been something he would have been proud of.

Maybe we don't always know what calls us to the garden, but there is a peace there you can't find at the mall. There is also a sense of accomplishment when you see the plants return your care in flowers, greenery or on your dinner table.

Mom and I are finally at the point this month, that we can say we are pretty much done cleaning it up. Now is the fun, the splitting of plants, the moving of others and then the sitting back and watching it grow. We also took our first basket of the season up the block to share with neighbors.

I stopped at the nursery and picked up 4 lavenders today, I have a long list for later this week.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 10:35PM
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betsyw(NSW Aust)

Eloquent, informative, moving, with a prose style that is nigh well literary.

Kim, you should be paid for being the perfect, yeasty nexus between the rose industry and the public. Serious here.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 4:26AM
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What Kim said at the start of his message: with gardening a part of you is projected into the future; you dream, you plan, you wait and hope. Do gardeners ever get old? they always have one eye on next year; or five or ten years or half a century from now.
A garden is where you can be wealthy in beauty and abundance. I'm neither poor nor affluent, but no one has roses lovelier than mine, all growing and maturing with every year that passes, and in a garden shaped according to my own sense of what is beautiful. In an increasingly economically restricted and uncertain world, you can have a marvelous garden even if you don't have a lot of money; and you get a return on your investment of labor, thought, and time.

Some people get started gardening late; I did, planting my first three packets of seeds when I was in my late twenties, and accelerating from there. I think this is not an uncommon phenomenon. And people do develop interests quite independent of their family background. I'm the only person in my family who likes languages. As an adolescent I always fired up when I encountered words and phrases in foreign languages; I majored in languages; I married a foreign-born man part of whose attraction was that his native language was different from my own. All this was, apparently, born with me, and came from no one knows where. Who knows? people are strange. The woman who loved your yard before you may have made it a very friendly place, one that just invited digging and planting and was waiting for you to come along. I wouldn't be surprised.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 5:36AM
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betsyw(NSW Aust)

I suspect that planting, and plant acquisition, is akin to medication with food. It satisfies for a moment, then wants more. No wonder gardening prose so closely parallels food blogging.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 9:52AM
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