Friday, June 11, 2010

Gardening: The Last Square inches

Did I mention that the garden is full?

It is. Full. There will be no new, expansive plantings anytime soon.

In fact, to point to just one sample spot, there are bearded irises, a buddleia, a rose, an oakleaf hydrangea, a few lilies, some hardy geraniums, and some creeping thyme in a spot that's really only adequately roomy for the buddleia.

So far, this problem has been solved by cruelly pruning back the buddleia and convincing myself that the rose and the hydrangea are perfectly happy waving their leafy arms in the same airspace. And it does all look nice. Lush. Enthusiastic. Leafy-flowery and all that.

The problem with all of this is that my interest in the garden is triggered mostly by planting. No matter how gorgeously leafy-flowery the garden may be, there's something missing if I can't plant at all.

These are the times that I hunt for tiny unplanted or underplanted spaces, and plot what I might do with them. With similarly tiny plants. Microplants.

Violets, for example. We already have a lot of violets, but they're the sort of plant where near-infinite variety is just fine. I still haven't found true fragrant sweet violets, for example; I keep searching for these, and I keep finding lovely blossoms but no fragrance to speak of.

And Corsican mint. Low to the ground, barely thicker than paint, and incredibly fragrant. And creeping thyme, already flowing all over the garden.

And species tulips, in the fall when it comes time to plant them. Itty bitty often-perennial plants, like the little clown-striped Clusiana ones. And blue Siberian squills. And crocuses.

And nasturtiums. No, they're not actually small, but you can plant the fat little seeds in the smallest of spaces, and watch the resulting lily-pad leaves politely negotiate their way into any available space.

And... I'm sure that there are more. Lots more. I'll be posting again.

Tulip photo: By Scott. Wikimedia Commons.


  1. New York and Tokyo have had this overcrowding problem. Do what they did, and build UP! Towers of Flowers! :D

  2. Join a guerrilla gardening group and plant on other people's land!

  3. Hey, Kyna! Hee. We do already have climbing roses, and the wisteria's trying to eat the house and the garage. Oh, and the grape's munching on what's left. And the honeysuckle. And... well, you see. But there are many structure-free places, so, yeah!

    Howdy so, Sheila! Y'know, I've thought about that. And also considered all nicely and legally volunteering at the park or something. It's a thought.