The Garden Bloggers arrive in Austin in a few days and we who live here will no longer be photos on a page but living, breathing human beings with gardens that are actual, not virtual. You've seen Pam/Digging's photos and the garden she designed and built from below the ground up, yet Pam has confessed to some pre-Fling jitters! MSStevens just posted about her mixed up, exuberant, wild at heart meadow garden , complete with poetry she wrote as a 17-year old prodigy. The also jittery MSS says she wrote this post to set expectations for visitors to her garden and the laid-back, artistic neighborhood around her. Dawn's garden blog is just fine but her real garden is on hold. She must wait for long-planned construction to be completed before she begins to turn her dreams into reality. While she waits, she takes us on tour around the Austin area and shows us places we might otherwise miss.
I don't have much to be nervous about - only a few bloggers are intending to trek northwest to my bits-and-pieces garden, full of passalongs and plants I grow just to see what will happen. There's a hint of Lady Bird Johnson in the front yard and a lot of plants beloved by Mrs. Whaley in the back yard. And one rather cranky, gettin' older lady trying to keep the plants in control.
Last fall I planted ranunculus bulbs after reading a post about them by the wonderful Julie of the Human Flower Project. I gave them a good spot in the long fence border.
This spring the ranunculus opened their delightfully rolled flowers. What fun to see a chrome yellow followed by an orange - the flowers were more vivid than I'd prefer, but they seemed to blend with the lighter yellows, purples and silvers already blooming in this border.
Then number three opened deep fuchsia pink and I couldn't stand it. For nearly thirty years I've made one garden after another with layers of small trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and bulbs to form vignettes - small pleasing scenes with the center focused and the edges blurred.
On my series of small small suburban lots I used these vignettes to draw the eye to a defined area of horticultural interest, away from neighboring house roofs, TV antennae, garage walls, basketball hoops and backboards, pool slides, sports banners, trash containers, compost heaps, oversize vehicles, boats under blue tarps, power and electric lines and dead trees.
You'll find every color of the rainbow somewhere in my yard and in a large sweeping meadow I'd love them all swirled together, but vignettes are small. Certain areas have limited palettes - this secluded corner is mainly corals and lavenders -
The hummingbird bed is predominantly red and the pink border near the gate is the spot for pinks, magentas, whites and burgundies. Those ranunculus bloomed in a bed of yellows, blues & silvers along the fence.
A few days ago Pam/Digging told us one of her bluebonnets bloomed pink instead of blue and she wavered between moving it and letting it bloom. Most of her commenters told her to let it be. I said to move it. I follow my own advice.
I used the garden fork to lift the deep pink ranunculus with a nice chunk of soil, relocating it to the bulb bed near the anemones. Two days later the flower doesn't seem to have noticed that it's on the opposite side of the yard. Julie says these bulbs usually bloom once without returning, but if it does decide to act like a perennial, it will be in the right place.
This way I can enjoy both the deep pink ranunculus and the more coherent long border without being annoyed each time I looked at that 'riot of color'.
More shovel pruning was needed in the front yard. When we worked on the Pink Entrance Garden, last spring, I planted a bareroot rose labeled 'Therese Bugnet' toward the middle of the bed, a good spot for this pink shrub rose. When the rose bloomed dark red I was surprised but decided to keep it since the flower was lovely, nice for cutting and the color looked okay with the pinks and burgundies.
The Pink Garden still needed a Pink Shrub Rose. Instead of taking a chance on another bareroot rose, I bought a shrub rose in a container that was already blooming pink ... it's supposed to be the Texas-tough 'Belinda's Dream' and this time the girl looks like her photos. The styles of M.S.Stevens' garden, Pam's garden, Dawn's garden and my garden are as different as the style of our garden blogs and our styles of writing. I think these differences are something to celebrate - if you'd like to read more on the topic of rejoicing in the differences among bloggers , please see Kate's thoughful ode to individuality, "A Gentle Plea for Chaos" at her KateSmudges blog.
This post, "Shovel Pruning the Vignettes", was written for my blogspot blog called The Transplantable Rose by Annie in Austin.