Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Last weekend, I finished erasing the garden--burning the last of the grasses,and cutting all the remaining herbaceous growth to the ground, chopping it with a mower. Now the garden is a clean slate. Every year I find it hard to remember the miraculous return of life as hundreds of perennials and grasses emerge from this blankness, filling the space with constantly changing patterns and shapes.
Stripping away the growth from the previous year, returning the garden to something closer to its "natural" state, a simple clearing in a woodland, is a useful reminder of where I garden, a reminder that I need to keep all this appropriate to this place.
The dry-laid stone wall at the far end is last year's addition to the garden's structure, and I think it works well as a visual stop, helping separate the garden from the surrounding woods, yet remaining completely in character with the history and culture of this former farm land become woodland again.
Of course, my garden requires a tolerance for some mess. The detritus of last year's growth remains scattered across the land, left there to decompose to return nutrients and, more importantly, organic matter to the heavy clay.
Here is a view of the garden by early June of last year.
And near the end of July ...
Posted by James Golden at 7:41 AM