Winter has barely started, and no matter how anxious, already I’ve blown through the spring budget allocated for the thirty year anniversary of the start of this garden. Happily I suppose, money is not the issue, but space, though my wife is likely to quibble that both are problems.
A year ago, a few extra planting spaces were carved out of the small lawn at the rear of the property (the area that is now exceedingly swampy, though not due to this new planting), but again I’ve been informed that grass is good and plants not so much by my wife, who dictates that no more grass be removed (or else what, I question). In fact, there are a few small areas along edges of planting beds where evergreens have shaded and almost killed the lawn. Thin grass must be cut out, and here are spots for a few additions, though this is hardly enough to be satisfying.
In recent weeks I’ve purchased several dozen native orchids (Putty root and Rattlesnake plantain) and a batch of ferns to cover some part of the difficult, dry shade area beneath the Bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla). In late summer, a number of dormant Solomon’s Seals (Polygonatum), Fairy bells (Disporum), mayapples (Podophyllum), and trilliums were wedged into spaces between shrubs, and while I went back a week later to mark some of the areas, already I’d forgotten and now have little idea what is planted, and where. In a rare case of using best judgment, I will wait until I see what comes up before doing more planting in the general areas where I suspect these are planted.
In case you are concerned by this memory lapse, yes, I’m getting to that age, but I’ve always planted so much stuff that rarely can I recall where it is, or even if I planted it, until it pops up. This is all the more reason to welcome spring’s arrival, to see what the heck I’ve planted, and this year there are many more spring ephemerals that haven’t shown above ground since early summer. Even thirty years ago, I couldn’t remember much more than a few weeks back, so this spring will be particularly exciting. Conveniently, I must be wary in weeding until identities of new arrivals can be confirmed. For the remainder of the winter I’ll be looking through plant catalogs, but I won’t be buying.