A New Perspective On Landscaping

By Bonnie Grant | August 4, 2021
Image by ozgurcoskun
by Bonnie Grant
August 4, 2021

I miss many of the things I have had in other landscapes. I had to leave them all behind. From the glorious contorted filbert, to the pond, and into the patios and decks, they all are things of the past. All that toil was almost for nothing now that I can’t enjoy it. And revisiting some of these sites, much of it has gone to ruin or been torn apart. My landscape plans and goals have changed quite a bit. So instead of dwelling on the past, I am going to look forward to the future. 

I still look with envy at other people’s gardens and landscaping magazine pictures. My garden space is too new, quite large, and is still in its infancy. I have plans and garden desires: many, many plans. But the thing is, I discovered that my fancy landscape isn’t necessarily a selling point. It certainly doesn’t add to the value of the home and in some cases, it can be a detractor. Not everyone wants to spend their days out in the garden — just us crazy people!

New Perspective

So I am playing it safe and simple this time. No berms, no bluestone patios, no expensive plants. Out here in the sticks we will concentrate on the basics. Clean lines, healthy sod, food plants, and nothing that will die and leave me regretting the expenditure. Gone are the days where I would haunt the nursery looking for a certain cultivar, like the Empress Wu hosta that was my prize baby. Such a fancy landscape would stick out like a sore thumb in the rural area in which I live. 

Of course, I have my garden desires. One thing I am trying to source is an Empress tree. We had one a couple of houses ago and it was astounding how quickly it grew. It also had wondrous, magical purple flowers, lovely large leaves, and fuzzy pea-like pods. The leaves are about a foot (30.48 cm.) wide. Many gardeners think it is a nuisance plant, and it is even a noxious weed in North Carolina. That is because is produces hundreds of seeds every year, which germinate with ease. It also has thick, tenacious roots. So you have to source a tree that’s been bred to be sterile so those problems don’t occur. 

Content With What Is

I wouldn’t say I have a holy grail. I am a simple person, mostly content with what I have. I look forward to my modest landscape plans, and I can wait for my garden to grow up. In the meantime, there are plenty of other things to do to keep the property ship shape. There is much to enjoy as I wait for that first fruit tree harvest. The vegetable garden is doing well, the perennials are filling in. Even indoors, some miracles have happened. My bromeliad bloomed anew after 5 years, a 3 year old orchid produced flowers, and my Christmas cactus found its flowery groove after several years. A baby pomegranate and Meyer lemon are growing into indoor food producers. 

All in all, there is much to be thankful for and I don’t need to tempt fate by pining for things I can’t or shouldn’t have. Everything is going great. 

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