Friday, May 05, 2006

My Favorite Spot, May 5th

I had nothing to do with creating this week’s favorite spot. The shrub border along the SW edge of our property line remains as it was when we moved in. My changes have been limited to adding some columbine, killing the poison ivy, pruning some of the woody plants, and harvesting the self-propagated brunnera and ostrich ferns to use in other parts of the yard.

I’m often puzzled by the richness of the plantings in the shrub border. When we moved in, most of the yard did not show signs of a previous gardener. The front flowerbeds were occupied by four decrepit yews and two struggling rhododendrons. The back flowerbed was completely given over to weeds. Yet, the shrub border, which is in an out of the way spot, sports ferns, allium, hyacinth, snowdrops, crocus, roses, azalea, a rhododendron, a hydrangea, and assorted mystery shrubs. I have two theories as to the reason for the out of character plantings. The first is that the area is a pet cemetery and the plants are memorials to beloved pets. I know that at least one cat is buried there. My second theory is that a previous tenant was either too cautious or not allowed to plant in the main flowerbeds and had to confine his experimentations to a less prominent spot. I’m not sure which theory I prefer. I can identify with someone full of the need to create but lacking an outlet (that’s just how I felt living in apartments and rentals for many years) and I think cemeteries are romantic, if a bit creepy.

In fact, the entire border has a sort of a romantic, mysterious feel. I’ve groomed almost every bit of the yard, but this border remains an untamed zone. I like it that way. I might rip out a few more honeysuckle, or plug in a few more flowers, but I’m mostly content to enjoy it as is.


Anonymous Annie In Austin said...

Here's another theory, based on a friend's experiences. Once upon a time, a real gardener lived in your Cincinnati Cape Cod, and back then the whole yard was full of flowers, planted by this person.

Then another owner came, who didn't like the floral display. The parts of the landscape that were visible to the public were changed to safe & boring. This owner either didn't bother, or never got around to destroying the lovely one you are enjoying.

Either way, I'm glad you are enjoying this gift from someone who used to live there!

Annie/Glinda from divas of the dirt

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

I'm with Annie and Glinda. That sounds like a good theory.

But, most importantly, how did you kill the poison ivy?!

5:00 AM  
Blogger Candi said...

This inquiring mind also wants to know how you killed the poison ivy? I just discovered a patch that's really taken off right next to my rose. :(

7:34 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

Maybe that was an area where the previous owner planted gifts of bulbs, etc. I have an half circle under my evergreen in the front yard here where I have added 'gifts' of tulips and daffodils along with other wildflowers and perennials I moved from other parts of the yard.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Kasmira said...

I just sprayed the poison ivy with round-up. I ended up with a big circle of death.

If you want to use round-up around something you care for, like a rose bush, you can pour some in a cup and apply it to the weed with a paintbrush. I did this around my spring bulbs and they weren't touched.

4:48 AM  

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