I admit to being a plant stasher of the highest order. ( The Secret Garden is an annual winter read for me!)
At one time I crammed every possible inch of garden I could into our relatively small lot. Then I crammed every square inch of garden with plants. There was never soil visible anywhere and the plantings were several layers deep - two or even three plants - often with bulbs planted beneath all that - coming up through the same surface space - planned to have each subsequent flush of growth overtake that which had already reached its peak. It was serious organic perennial gardening and it was hard physical work but I achieved the goal of having constant flowering (February through October), interesting/complimentary foliage, winter interest and greatly improved soil to boot.
About 3 years ago though, the whole thing stopped being entertaining and just started being work. It also started to seem to me to be as crazy as it probably always was. It was just too much! So 2 seasons back, I rethought the whole works. All the garden bullies - spreaders and seeders were yanked, anything that couldn't hold its own head up (other than climbers - yes I've got climbers scrambling up through flowering shrubs so any one of the trees can seem to have multiple and differing flowering periods.) were unceremoniously removed as well.
What I kept was long lived, well behaved perennials, any bulbs that didn't get dug up in the revamp and the foundation shrubbery. I reduced the depth of some beds to facilitate ease of maintenance - reasserting the lawn in places and adding rubber edging to the whole works just to keep me honest.
What I gained was space for stepping stones and little "paved" paths through the largest bed as well as space for vegetables. The garden is now also much less time consuming to maintain over the summer when I'm rarely here to do the work. I also won over My Beloved who could never really relate to the secret garden premise of hysterical abundance I had so long embraced.
It occurs to me, however, when I'm assembling these little collections of photos to post and I'm only putting up shots of a select few of all the plants currently in flower that I am far from a fully reformed hoarder of plant material.
So there, now I've come clean with you - here is a little peak at today's lovelies...
A reprise shot of the Wegielia - 'hard to believe it has become even more laden with blooms - I thought it was peaking last week!Don Juan climber is doing just that. I love it against the white brick!
Jacmanii clematis - he's struggling to be seen - I will have to see to his pushy neighbours once his flowering is done.
This is known in the neighbourhood as "Momma's Rose" after a woman, who has since moved away, gave many of us clippings to root from a rose her mother gave her many years previous...(If you recognize what its really called - please let me know via the comments!)
Peonies - doing what peonies do after June rains - drooping...
So I enjoy them best cut in vases - but I keep them outside to avoid bringing the resident ants in with them. I must say I can't blame them though - if I could I sure would hang out in the heart of a peony! Now that I've admitted my little weakness for plant material I'm sure that news doesn't come as any surprise!
Thanks for dropping by - have a great weekend!