Wildflowers, Weeds, Well-Tended Gardens

Our very first attempt and flowers was a "wild flower" garden - one of those kits - purchased at Sam's or somewhere. I semi-tilled a piece of ground close to the house in the back where the builder hadn't really done much of anything except the lovely stone wall.

The wild flowers did very well. I liked the disorganized color burst look of it but to my husband, it just screamed WEEDS.

It reminded me of the scene in Alice in Wonderland where she is quizzed by some very haughty flowers for her odd stems and in the end, accused of being a weed.

I didn't yet have the discipline for real flower gardening.

He painstakingly "weeded" the space the next year and planted Impatiens. I didn't like them mainly because he spent a lot of time weeding them and they didn't even have the decency to grow back the next year. He planted them again.

I hatched a cunning plan - Hostas. They love to spread, and in that dirt they grew to be gigantic and splendid and totally took over in just a couple of years. No more Impatiens to irritate the impatient and demanding rookie gardener!

In the meantime, we reclaimed an odd plot beside our veggie garden, shaped like a liver or maybe a kidney, where the soil was very thin because of a huge boulder that jutted out in a couple of places - but is probably twenty or thirty feet wide underground. The dirt won't sustain anything tree-like with ambitions of permanence.

First the daylilies who had taken over our front hedge were disciplined and replanted there. Then we added cheerful ground cover. Then some hardy bulbs who didn't expect too much of me and finally, a glorious Blackjack. Purple and delicious, it had the good manners to come back again (on its fourth year) AND to give birth to a junior offspring, giving me not one but two of these beautiful bushes to enjoy. What a nice plant!

The rose bush is still on my poop list.

The berry garden, added last year, looks like it is going to go the way of the hostas and impress us, however. Maybe I'm getting the hang of it, maybe my husband is stealth-gardening behind my back.

The flower garden and I are on the same track. Freshly back from London, I think I was a wild flower too. No discipline, no desire to stick in some really deep roots. But time and children and happiness have planted me very firmly. I'm not as evil as that darned rose bush (stubborn girl, beautiful flowers and the ugliest branches I have ever seen) but I'm not as accommodating and proper as the wondrous Blackjack either.  I'm probably somewhere in with the daylilies, bouncy, subject to the seasons but impossible to keep from blooming.

I think my husband is probably stealth gardening me too.


Jennifer Z.


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