Sunday, August 19
It's A Jungle Out There
Nate is one of those friends who drifts in and out... sometimes we see a lot of him, sometimes we can't get a text message back from him at all and are left to wonder where he is and what he's doing. Today he came over to hang out and catch up, which is always a good time.
"I know I haven't been here in a while," was the first thing he said to me, "But I wasn't quite expecting the nice little jungle you've added to the backyard." Nate meant that as a compliment, but it made me laugh just the same. Jungle? Au contraire, Nate--you were looking at the veggie garden!
Well, part of the veggie garden, anyway. See the blue leaves of brussels sprouts peaking out from behind the Little Bluestem, just to the right of the 'Red King Humbert' cannas? There are 'Ichiban' eggplants behind them and a row of various late-planted peppers spaced out evenly next to the 'Fuldaglut' sedum that edges the bed. The 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranths that you see popping up throughout the bed are edible, too--you can use the younger, more tender leaves like spinach.
Some veggies are just so pretty that I think I will always be able to find a place for them in the yard. And some of them, admittedly, look rather exotic. The purple-tinged eggplant leaves are one example. And the red okra that I plan to grow next year is another. That various grasses and low-maintenance perennials like 'Matrona' sedum, Siberian iris and Russian sage mix well with them is a bonus.
On the one hand, this post is an ode to the beauty of veggies and is meant to show that all vegetable plants do not have to be relegated to a square plot. On the other hand, it's also in response to Chuck's desire to see all of our gardens from other than the usual "closeup" perspective that we tend to show on our blogs.
On the third hand(?), this is also a "before" picture of a bed that's going to be totally revamped this fall. For one thing, I allowed the amaranth way too much leeway--artful clumps would look much better than all of that self-sown randomness. I have finally decided on a square lawn instead of the irregularly-shaped one that I have now, so more grass will be taken away and the area in front of the cannas will need to be redesigned to accommodate the new shape.
The 'Morning Light' and 'Little Zebra' miscanthus grasses that you see beyond the cannas, still in their pots, will need to be included here. I kind of like the way the 'Morning Light' and the Little Bluestem look bookending the cannas in this picture, so I may have to work that into the design somehow... but all of this design talk is mere conjecture at this point, really. I need to get out there, mark off the new bed, and take some measurements so I can actually start to design this area the right way. For once.
See, I would like to be one of those ultra-organized people who draws everything out on paper and then follows the plan to the letter, but sadly I am not. Instead I have a very good idea of what I'm going to do ahead of time, but make lots of changes--lets call them adjustments, that sounds more positive--as I start to dig.
I always wonder whether my fellow garden bloggers and garden blog readers have plans that they follow, or whether they just bring plants home and plop them anywhere they have space... or somewhere in between. Anyone out there reading care to comment and appease my curiosity?