I have been reading about it in several different garden blogs, and that August Itch has finally bit me, too. Hard. I don't know if there is a "real" name for it, but you know what I mean. It's that time of the year when those areas of the garden we called "lush" earlier in the summer now just look like a jungle--in a bad way. It's the downtime between the bountiful blooms of summer and the start of autumnal tones and elegant decay.
It is now that I look out over my eclectic garden and wish that I instead tended a regimented, formal parterre. Or a soothingly austere prairie-style planting. Maybe a zen garden.
I finally succumbed yesterday and started to scratch my itch. Much of the self-seeded red amaranth was ripped out and composted. 'Othello' ligularia was moved (yeah, while it was blooming) to a spot where its rounded, large leaves are needed to break up the finer foliage of goatsbeard and grasses. Hakonechloa 'All Gold,' picked up on clearance, was placed in a corner where it can glow--and cascade over nearby retaining wall blocks.
Japanese bloodgrass--happier here in the rich, trucked-in soil of the back garden bed than it ever has been in the barren dirt of the front bed where herbs and other tough guys like yarrow thrive--was divided into more clumps. The blue hosta in the foreground moved between two of them and the hakone grass.
Several different relocation options for the Russian sage are under consideration. Clusters of 'Chocolate Chip' ajuga were broken up and spaced apart in the hopes that they will grow back together to carpet the garden floor. The gaping hole in the bed, where the 'Diablo' ninebark used to be, is now the home of the dwarf tart cherry tree that I should have planted there in the first place.
Finally, this area of the garden is starting to look like something. But even as I remind myself of my vow to try to Leave Well Enough Alone in the coming year, and give things time to settle in and grow... still, I feel that itch.