I waited all week to buy plants for The Covert Garden. I hoped to avoid plant shopping in the heat and it also gave me something to look forward to: a little garden reward for a good week’s work. I went with all your wonderful ideas in mind, a few of my own and, unfortunately, a budget. I came away with a Buddleja ‘Pink Delight,’ three ‘Saucy Seduction’ yarrow and three Baptisia australis. Plus I have some coneflowers I will transplant in the fall and the garden is well-stocked with lamb’s ears.
On planting day a breeze and overcast skies seemed to contradict the forecast for heat and sun as I headed to Ault Park and The Covert Garden. But as I climbed the stairs to the garden, passing under the southern magnolia, garden tools in hand, the clouds parted and the sun shined brightly, reminding me that The Covert Garden was beyond a doubt a sun-drenched, hot, hot, hot garden. For a moment I kicked myself for not revitalizing a garden spot in the shade.
The still brought on by the heavy heat was broken when a massive bus pulled up to the same set of stairs to deposit its cool, comfortable cargo: a wedding party. Soon the garden was a flurry of activity with photographers setting up their gear and discussing their plans of action, bridesmaids passing out flowers and groomsmen trying to remain cool and dapper in their three-piece suits. Laughter began to roll over the garden in soft waves.
While I planted, weeded and watered, three wedding parties were milling about the garden under the direction of their photographers. Those posing for pictures beamed while the others took refuge in the shade. It was, despite the heat, a typical Saturday at the gardens.
The Covert Garden looks fine. I think that is the best compliment I can give at this point. The plants are small, and in the space they look a tad lost and sad. But I know, as any good gardener knows, that in a year or two the garden will start to come to shape. In the meantime, while I weed, water and tend to the new plot and wait for it to grow, I can always watch the weddings in the park.
This Landless Gardener knows she is not alone and wants to hear from you! Are you a Landless Gardener? Do you garden in a park? Tell me a bit about your garden. I would love to hear your story.
Jenny Koester, AKA The Landless Gardener, is the Garden Blog Editor for Horticulture magazine and the author of The Garden Life and A Year in the Park.