At some point in the gardening season—back when I had a yard—I could say “when!” The new beds were full or I was out of time and labor to make more. I could easily shift gears to pruning, weeding and deadheading. Now, as a landless gardener, I find the opportunities to add more gardens is limitless and I am having a very difficult time saying “when.”
Four years ago when I became a landless gardener, I never imagined that I would have more space to garden than I could shake a trowel at. Today, new garden opportunities abound. In fact, I was offered a 1.5 acre garden to adopt a few blocks from my home. I politely declined because the gardens I have at the park are keeping me quite busy.
Lately an area just outside the Adopt-a-Plot gardens has been calling to me: “Look at me! Look how much room I have for you to garden.” When a garden calls to you, how can you say no? I sure can’t. It’s a long, skinny bed with sun and shade, a few established shrubs and trees and a lot of room for improvement.
This weekend I pulled weeds, edged, mulched and began sketching a design for the shadier area of the garden. Earlier in the season I began working the deeper, sunnier section. I planted 15 coneflowers of three varieties, over two dozen Liatris (a mix of bulbs and potted plants), Brazilian verbena and a few shrubs including ‘Mount Airy’ fothergilla. With all that, the garden still looks simply “OK.” Gardening with perennials does teach me to have patience and to have faith in the promise of a two- and three-year-old garden. In my mind’s eye I see a wide band of coneflowers in bloom, spires of purple flowers and a light airy, wispy look of purple flowers from the verbena, which I am counting on to re-seed liberally.
Jenny Koester, AKA The Landless Gardener, is the Garden Blog Editor for Horticulture magazine.