The Front Garden – Bringing Joy
I love my Front Garden at the moment. I love the vibrancy of the acid yellow Euphorbia and the purple honesty. I love the way the breeze, or wind today, moves the Anemanthele lessoniana that I relocated here a few weeks ago bringing movement to this otherwise quite staid border. The Anemanthele has been shoe-horned in amongst the emerging asters in a way that any serious or mildly well informed gardener would blanch at. My excuse, although I don’t really think I need one, is that the asters are making a bid for world domination and they are a complete nightmare to dig out of clay soil. Plus the act of clearing the whole border of the asters would probably leave me in traction. So the answer is to dig out the asters as and where I want to add other plants and to see if the addition of 3 large Anemanthele lessioniana and a rather large Watsonia will be sufficient to break up the monotony of the asters.
Asters monotonous you say? Outrageous! Well they are if only one or possibly two varieties are dominating the rest and when there is little to make the border interesting for the rest of the year. Just clumps of dark green foliage sitting there for months on end. They need friends to bring them joy and enliven them and although I have some Rudbeckias in this border I want more year round interest than just Late Summer. That was the original plan, an ill conceived one in such a small garden. If I had acres to play with having borders that peak at certain times of the year would be lovely but in a small garden every square metre has to work very hard and has to bring me joy.
Yes, I have been watching too much Marie Kondo , and that was before the lockdown so no excuse really, but whilst it can become appear a little OCD and perfectionist there are valuable lessons in her message which I have found quite liberating. It has helped me reorganise and clear out my wardrobes finding clothes I had forgotten about and leaving me loving what is left and also deeply conscious that I really don’t need more clothes (don’t start me on how unsustainable the fashion industry is). When you relate this to the garden, especially when some of your borders are 10 or more years old, you realise that your tastes have changed, plants have outgrown their spot or conversely struggled on their best. So now I don’t compromise so much and if there is a plant which really isn’t working its out and if it is lucky it finds a new home elsewhere in the garden.
The result is borders that are full of reasonably sized plants, planted well in good combination informed by years of mistakes, and which most importantly bring me joy.