Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gardening Quote: The Glories of Late May

If I may venture one suggestion to the May-struck gardener it is this: Do not allow the total space occupied by irises, peonies, roses, poppies, forget-me-nots, violas, clematis, and the other glories of late May to occupy more than 63 percent of the space. Unless, at an absolute maximum, they are allowed to occupy 76 percent. It is unthinkable that they should in any case hog so much as 94 percent of the arable area. Usually.
Henry Mitchell, The Essential Earthman
Every year, in late summer and early autumn, I regret that one more year has gone by without my planting chrysanthemums, dahlias, or other late-season flowering plants, other than the recently rhapsodized Japanese anemones.

It's not as if I don't know that these things are beautiful. It's not as if I don't know that I'll want them. It's not as if I don't remember last year's grumbling. But somehow I can't shake my loyalty to the roses, and, yes, the peonies, and the irises, and the Oriental poppies. Not enough to make a generous sunny space for even one big chrysanthemum or dahlia showoff.

Judging from Henry Michell's advice, at least this lack of foresight is not unique to me. And that's rather comforting.

Photo: By Kenpei. Wikimedia Commons.

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