I’ve been working through my issues with Bishops Weed, and finding the “right” rocks for my yet-again redesigned/replanted front garden…and you’ve all been very helpful. But there is something else that’s been nagging at me…my inability to get rid of the foundation plants we inherited with the house. I’m speaking of a hot-pink-blooming Rhododendron: Two Pieris japonica (this one due for a bottom trim-up): And a candy cane Camellia (please ignore the mostly dead Phormium on the right): If I were starting from scratch I would never include these plants, but I’ve got ‘em…and I’m sort of attached to them. The Camellia was love at first sight, although I hoped its flowers would be simply red, or white, not striped like a candy cane. I was indifferent to the Pieris, they were just “shrubs” neither good nor bad they just were. And the Rhody? It was coming out right away! No place for a silly Rhododendron in my garden! But then it worked its magic on me and now I love it, wouldn’t part with it…can’t part with it. These shrubs are old, established and have a history here, I've grown attached.
So there is an inevitable disconnect between these inherited “foundation plantings” (doesn’t that sound horrible) and the types of plants that I will be planting further out in the front garden. Is it going to work? I dunno, but I have decided I’m okay with it, either way. This isn’t a garden designed for a magazine…it’s MY garden (or as Amy Stewart said during one of her talks… “it’s just the place I put the plants I buy”). Still I’m just curious…is there a place for nostalgia in a well designed garden? And by asking that I am not pretending that my garden is now, or ever will be a “well deigned garden” it’s just a hypothetical question.
A couple of updates, first on the Bishops Weed battle. After 3 applications of Round-up (yes I’ve temporarily gone over to the dark side) this is what it looks like…
Ya, that looks dead, right?
I think I am stuck with it.
Second, the large rocks. The more I think about it, and look at other gardens around town, I’m just not so sure I want to include them. If I do it will be a very few, and very subtly. What Scott said when he commented on my rock-shopping post: “but I'm not convinced I could use rock without it looking too contrived” keeps bouncing around in my head. Plus my front garden is small, and, well… to put it delicately I don’t exactly live on a street of “designed” gardens. It’s not a block of palatial estates, big craftsmen bungalows, or mid-century brick ranch homes (I wish!). I live in a neighborhood of “post war boxes” as one friend so cleverly described it. I think the most generous term I’ve heard is “ranchalow” but heck even that is more than they deserve. I think by skipping making a “big rock” statement and just sticking with the gravel already in place (and more all-season plants) I’m in line with the architectural style of my house and the neighborhood. At least that’s where I’m at right now.
So how about that nostalgia question?