Exactly one year ago, I posted about how well my front garden was filling out after all our meticulous planning. Last summer we put a lot of effort into growing tomatoes and nurturing flowers and diligently picking tiny strawberries to enjoy for months and months. Year three? Not so much. Between the barely-winter winter and the fact that zero of my plants died back during the winter, I have the craziest garden ever this year. My travel schedule for work has prevented me from doing much maintenance so far this year – and thanks to the amount of rain we’ve had this year, I’m really disinclined to do much regular weeding in fear of my mosquito pals. I haven’t even bothered with tomatoes or an herb garden yet this year because I know that I don’t really have the time and attention required to give them a fighting chance. Pathetic, I know.
To my original design’s credit, parts of the garden are looking great this year despite my every attempt to completely neglect it. The sunny woodland patch look I was going for on one side of the garden? Well, that vision has been realized… and then some. Yarrow flowers bend down to the sidewalk, their hot pink flowers full of bees. Salvia spikes have reseeded in several colors, scenting the sidewalk in their sage-y smell. The left side of the garden has grown big and unruly – and as my neighbor kindly put it – it’s got that cagey wild vibe going.
So, basically it’s exactly like my hair these days. Thanks, July heat and humidity.
The right side of the garden – the side nearest the stoop – is equally as wild and out of control. The acid green creeping jenny has started to drip down the bricks. All the various sedum I planted have exploded in crazy textures – and they’re threatening to take over the entire garden. The sweet baby lavender plants have grown into massive overbearing clumps with purple fronds covering half the steps. And don’t even get me started on the oregano. I’ve already cut it back twice this year. The only thing not doing well on this side of the garden is the thyme. All the other plants are so humongous, the poor thyme can’t catch a break and get enough sunlight to survive. Tough luck, thyme. Natural selection is real.
The other day, I came home after work and realized I was locked out of the house. I had a set of keys, but I couldn’t unlock the deadbolt. So to make good use of the time I spent waiting for Zach to get home, I decided to do a little work weeding, which gave me some excess time to spend thinking about the garden. See, while the garden has just happened to (unintentionally) grow to look (intentionally) wild on either side and is kind of beautiful, the whole middle section is balding. Once I got done weeding, the whole middle section was down to the bare dirt.
My garden has male pattern baldness.
A little story on how the baldness came to be: over the last couple of years, I became irritated with the random giant chrysanthemums that used to be in center of the garden. Planted by the previous owner of the house, I gather that their original purpose was to cover up the stump of a big weed-tree that used to sit square in the center of the garden. From what I hear in talking with the neighbors, the thing was massive and reached the second floor of the house. ANYWAY. I know that gardening is supposed to be meditative and a demonstration of patience and all that shiz, but I just ripped those chrysanthemums out in cold blood.
As a result, the garden looks a bit silly and I cringe just a little every time I step out the front door. The empty space makes no visual sense, and it’s yet another friendly reminder of my inability to fully complete projects. We’re finally having someone come take a look at the stump this week, so my hope is that we’ll be able to get it removed and get on with our lives.
I just want to get it planted and looking halfway decent again, so I can concentrate on other ongoing house projects these days. Really trying to stay positive and use it as motivation. Time to shop for new plants!