Above: An unknown lily appears in the midst of the human pruned Japanese maple ‘Crimson Queen’.
The need to be in charge is stronger in some, to direct the goings on around us. It helps beat back the fears of helplessness in a vast universe. It is inborn, that need, and cannot be dismissed, only managed.
Above: Under the deck, a neat row of calla lilies, Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Flame’ and ‘Naomi Campbell’.
Above: The daylily hill corner is a permanent planting, finally, with Crimson Queen, Hosta ‘Sunpower’, Stipa tenuissima and the growing glass art collection. (Thanks to Lynn and Semi!)
When this incarnation of Fairegarden was first planted, (click here to read the whole story), it had been cleared of the chaotic wilderness that carpeted the steep slope by a backhoe. The decaying fruit trees, with accompanying hornet’s nests, the twinings of honeysuckle, poison ivy, multiflora rose, wild grapevine and privet that had been battled with hand tools and chainsaws for several years was finally defeated when the big guns were hired. Trucks filled with mulch were driven across neighbor’s lots to dump their loads at the top of the hill. Strong men pitched the mulch down the hillside in a thick layer. It was the proverbial blank slate, albeit a hilly one.
Swirling around in the cerebrum was the idea of an English style knot garden on the flat area at the top of the property, surrounded by a boxwood hedge, neat as you please. Control epitomized. Drawings on graph paper were done. String on stakes marked out the sections. Old bricks outlined the quadrants and the center quatrefoil, a shape chosen to resemble a four leaf clover for good luck and to signify North, South, East and West. There was a bench and a shed. (Photo: April 2008) It was good.
Small shrubs of Buxus ‘Wintergreen’, (there seems to be some disagreement about the species name so I am leaving it off here), were added around the perimeter. Years passed. Gravel was added to the paths between the planted areas and later the planted areas, as well. The chosen inhabitants were constantly changing as deaths occurred until a cease fire was declared between Nature and Gardener with creeping thymes and spring and summer bulbs being the main players. The hedge grew and was regularly trimmed. (January 2010) It was still good.
A trip to England in 2010 planted the seed of dissatisfaction with the green outline of the knot garden after seeing the creative prunings of Great Dixter. How to achieve a more interesting, yet maintainable by an aging wielder of the clippers, design was played with, tweaked and finally came to fruition. (August 2011) It is getting better.
And so it is, that little bit of control amidst the chaos exists. And now, dear readers, it is time to do some more controlling. The recycled plastic tablecloth with a couple of tears in it will be spread to catch the trimmings in the interior portion. The rest of the trimmings will be left as a weed suppressing, woody mulch. Fire up the electric, but still quite heavy for weak, skinny arms, machine and let’s go.