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Lush Landscapes

Garden Reports and Rejoicing – October 7

Everywhere I look the landscape is so incredibly lush. Since most of my gardens contain a mix of annuals, perennials and shrubs, and I love different foliage colors as well as flowers, they still are brilliant and full. In fact, the plants are so beautiful that it’s difficult to focus on anything else.

Yet focus I must…but as I walk through the garden toward the front door, I ask it for some wisdom to take indoors. Believing that everything is connected to everything else, and knowing that even a trip through the front yard can be a mini-vision quest, I look to the garden for tips about growth.

The front garden speaks to me about the importance of diversity. There are times when I wonder if keeping so many balls in the air is a mistake… work at the garden center, speaking, finishing two new books, the radio program, my own gardens and volunteer work. And I’m always looking for new projects to plant. My garden reminds me to appreciate that I’m able to maintain this lushly planted life.

In the garden the wide variety of plants guarantees that there is always something of interest going on…the daylilies aren’t looking great, but the Profusion zinnias and jewels-of-Opar are spectacular. So it is in life as well…one or more areas may not be busy, easy or successful, but if we have a diversity of interests and work there is usually something satisfying to focus on.

Moving toward the front door, the pots of annuals and succulents remind me that even in all this richness, sometimes you have to contain yourself. That single agave in a pot is much healthier, and more interesting, because it’s alone. There are times when pulling back is OK, and concentrating on just one thing is important.

Then there’s the chair that’s behind the group of containers. It too has something to say: “Don’t forget to rest!”

Moving from the driveway to the front door I pass through a full and diversely planted garden.

Even the potted plants and furniture have something to say...


2 comments to Lush Landscapes

  • Erica

    Love this post C.L.! I’ve been spending my time simplifying areas, but I love my lush beds of zinnias and cosmos. I’ve been struggling with one area that has about a dozen yuccas in it. I appreciate their evergreeness, but wonder if should put them in pots, like you’ve done with the agave, because I’ve read they can get out of control. What do you think?

  • Erica
    Zinnias and cosmos – yum. I think it would be hard to “tame” the yuccas. They have a deep, deep root, and usually if you dig one up you leave a piece of that root which then goes on to sprout into six new yucca plants. I know someone who tried to smother hers with a combination of newspapers and cement blocks, and they lifted the blocks and tossed them aside! A bed of yucca can be pretty simple, however, so if you’re going in that direction you might leave them for a dry garden. Maybe scatter California poppy seeds around the yucca for some self-seeding color and call it done. If weeds surround them, every three years or so you could cut the entire bed down, weed and then let the yucca come back…which it will.