This time of year, especially in one that we gets plenty of water , the garden behaves like a ginormous beast. In order to have a cottage garden that looks like it effortlessly grew together in the perfect blend of annual , perennial, shrub, herb and vegetable , the exact opposite of “effortless’ is required.
Some self-seeding plants like the hummingbird favorite Husker Red’ penstemon gets a little overzealous and must be weeded out where they are too prolific,
Some plants never cease coveting their neighbors space and must be ruthlessly reminded to keep to themselves
Some “great ideas, like letting ox-eye daisy ( a weed) stay just until it is done blooming because I love it ( it must be deadheaded immediately to prevent seeding) or letting the violets stay in the Pink Garden because they are larval food for butterflies, prove to be very bad ideas indeed. Now the weeds must be reckoned with so in the end there will still be a Pink Garden and not just violets and daisies.
Trying to remember where I seeded what is forever a challenge, I think I go through twice as much seed as I truly need due to inattention and forgetting to water, or mistakenly weeding out all the zinnias. Every year I swear I will use markers, and this year I even did in a few places, but coincidentally those I placed have just served as skinny plastic tombstones for plants that did not make it.
In a good year all the clematis I usually adore becomes a nightmare of growth, seemingly feet a day that must be tied
in and trained.
When huge flushes of bloom happen, huge amounts of time must be spent deadheading so the garden does not look like a big brown mush ball.
It ain’t easy making it look easy
But looking at all the beauty that surrounds me, I guess it is hard to complain