Somewhere nearby, in a spacious new neighbourhood, down a short drive and behind an unassuming fence and gate, lives the first real garden that I was hired to imagineer and construct.
When it was made I identified myself as a New Perennial gardener and it's full of plants associated with the early days of that scene. Deschampsia, Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' and Molinia 'Skyracer', for example. My involvement with the garden since installing it has been fairly piecemeal, unfortunately - which happens sometimes in unstable times I'm told - and the planting hasn't been adjusted much since it was planted 4 years ago. Things have become quite full - to a fault perhaps. I didn't get to see it in the spring or early summer this year - these photos are from early autumn 2013, when I was called in to stem the vegetative tide.
It's become a nice, warm, soothing place hidden away from the world. Certainly, compared to what it was. To my rather relentless critical eye there's a lot to do here yet, however. The privet monster hedge in the back, for example, needs a stiff clipping. A good, clean levelling to five feet or so. I've half a mind to go do it right now in the middle of the night in January but that might be misinterpreted. That singleton deschampsia clump in the front of the larger island bed has gotta go. The cherry trees in the planted islands are a wrong choice in retrospect. They haven't bloomed well from what I've heard - I haven't been around to see it. And one of them was lost to porcupine vandalism and now there's an oddly unbalanced pair. In a perfect world these would be swiftly pulled and replaced with Cercidiphyllum japonicum. Or Pagoda dogwoods. Maybe. The plant choices in general are stuffy and already too familiar - this scene calls for some semi-evergreen carex perhaps, to fill in some of the bare sections near the front, and some white asters to compliment the ubiquitous Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' and echo the Miscanthus blooms. Unfortunately, it's not my garden (technically) and these things can't happen as casually they really should. But such is life as a self-proclaimed New Perennial gardener in an unwitting eastern Canada.