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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – January 6

I’m just over three weeks out from my hip replacement surgery and about half the time I’m walking without a cane. There are still exercises to be done daily and I’m learning to focus on form. Holding my leg forward, or my body more upright, is important. It’s more and more a matter of fine-tuning.

My landscape is in a similar place right now. Most of the larger plants have been put in place, and prime structural elements such as a shed, fencing and patios or paths are installed. Much of my work in the coming summer will be modifying and refining what has already been started.

When I think about it, there aren’t that many times in our lives when we’re starting from scratch. New landscapes, relationships, jobs or projects come along less frequently than the ongoing perfection of what’s already in place. We have the big idea and then the longer period of work necessary to make that scheme happen.

As a gardener, that’s all fine with me. The process of planting is as satisfying when putting in smaller understory plants as it is when installing large trees. All growth is important and it takes both bold plantings and subtle fine-tuning to make a beautiful landscape.

The walls, fence and shed are in place and the main shrubs and perennials are planted. Still, this landscape needs some lower, understory plants throughout. It's time for fine tuning.

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