Warmer weather is reminding me of things that need doing in the gardens this spring. It also reminds me of a Spring story I wrote in 2009…
…Last year, as I was finishing a two week project to create a new garden for daylilies, —which, incidentally, reclassified our yard as a Botanical Garden, …anyway, last year I vowed a moratorium on new or expand flower gardens. “We’ve got to stop getting lilies.” I told Sue.
“Why? They’re beautiful.”
“I know, but all of our flower beds are full. Every time we get new lilies, I’m the one who scabs the lawn …along with my knees, in preparing the new garden plot. Besides, if we get to 100 lilies we could be considered Excessive Compulsive.”
“Ed, we’re at a hundred ‘n’ ten right now.”
“Okay, that’s it. We’re not buying any more Lilies.”
Please Note: I was emphatic, decisive, resolute and clear. No…lily…purchases.
However, we always buy annuals for a full summer of color. And, we also have a few gaps in existing beds, where lilies would not flourish. So this week we were perusing a mail order catalogue in consideration for ordering some perennials.
“How, about this shade lover,” I said. “It could go in that gap between the Bleeding Heart and Lungwort.”
[sidebar: Bleeding Heart is aptly named. Lungwart? I feel so very sorry for the botanist who named this plant. First, just because he thought of warts on a lung. Secondly, if he named this plant considering his latest chest x-ray, he was seriously ill. He should have named it “Spilt Milk.”]
Sue agreed, then offered’ “I’d like to get this Euphorbia. I mean, the name alone is enticing.”
“Where would you put it?”
“We could pull out the Lambs Ear.”
“Hmm, yeah…I guess that would fit with Euphoria.”
“You know that’s not what I meant. We’ve got Lambs Ear in several places and it’s not nearly as colorful as this plant.”
I agreed. Back and forth we went leafing through the catalogue. First one, then the other, making suggestions for purchase. Most importantly, for me anyway, always justifying where it would go in an EXISTING flower bed. Then Sue spotted a tall, ornamental, grass.
“Ed, you know how much I hate the eyesore next door and this grass is tall enough to mask it.”
I must admit, for the past several years, wild grape, sumac and ragweed had invaded the evergreen bushes next door. As a stopgap to the uncontrolled overgrowth, our neighbor sawed off the bushes at the ground and bushwhacked the rest. Stumps and Stubble is not a regular feature on HGTV for a reason.
So, the thought of Flame Grass was appealing, …at first. I looked out the window, across our deck, to check the angle of vision which the grass could block. “But, Sue, if we put the grass at the back of the pond garden, it won’t cover the mess next door”
“Well, I was kind of thinking we could put it there.”, clearly pointing to a grassy gap between two floral plots. Grassy gap? Yup, as in healthy, well rooted, sod.
“Aaaa, I don’t think there’s any garden there.” — my lip was under attack from my bicuspids.
“I know, but that’s the spot where the grass would do the most good.”
“Exactly. There’s already grass there and, for me, that’s the most good.”
“Ed, I’m just thinking of you. It would be less grass to mow.”
“No, it would be more garden to edge.”
“But you agreed the Flame Grass would be a fine natural screen.”
“In principle, not application.”
“Besides, you wouldn’t have to cut out very much lawn.”
“Remember what I said last year! No new gardens this year.”
“Yes, but that was before Saundra said she was giving us some awesome hybrid lilies.”
It’s a conspiracy. Saundra owns a lily farm and I’m about to own a little less grass.
2017 update — The Flame Grass is beautiful and now has a backdrop of an 8 foot high privacy fence. Euphorbia found no euphoria between our Bleeding Heart and Lungwart. We are now nearing 150 DayLilies. Believe it or not, my plan for this spring is to REDUCE some of the garden area and plant grass seed. There will be no net gain of grass though as another chunk of small section of sod will come out in anticipation of a trip to Along the Fence Daylilies.