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On Gardens Left Behind

Side Garden with Arkansas bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii), 'Axminster Gold' comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum), red campion (Silene dioica), and 'Latifolia Maculata' boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) [late May 2014] at
Side Garden at Hayefield with Arkansas bluestar (Amsonia hubrichtii), ‘Axminster Gold’ comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum), red campion (Silene dioica), and ‘Latifolia Maculata’ boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) – late May 2014
Hearing that several of you are in the process of leaving your current gardens and starting over in new places has gotten me thinking about the fate of gardens that are left behind, either by choice or necessity.

What happens to a garden in the absence of its creator depends a good deal on the person or people who are left with its care. If they are non-gardeners—and yes, though it’s hard to remember, there are lots of people out there for whom gardening is not a consuming passion—they may think of buying the house, rather than the landscape, with the idea of turning the garden back to grass as soon as possible.

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Death Becomes Them

Arc borders with Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Cassian', Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks', and Molinia caerulea 'Skyracer' on the right and Pennisetum orientale 'Karley Rose', Echinacea purpurea, Veronicastrum virginicum, Panicum virgatum 'Rotstrahlbusch', Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, and Panicum virgatum 'Prairie Sky' on left at Hayefield

Misspelled words are usually either annoying or embarrassing, depending on whether you’re reading them or creating them. But every once in a while, they inspire a whole new line of thought. When I recently ran across “necrofilia” (never mind where, but really, it was nothing horrible), I read it as “necrofolia,” and suddenly, there was the perfect term for an entire horticultural subculture.

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It’s Personal – Part 2

Side garden at Hayefield June 2012

A few weeks ago, in It’s Personal – Part 1, I started talking about some of the ways I’ve tackled the development of the gardens here at Hayefield, in response to some readers’ questions. I ended that part by mentioning that I have a group of plants that I rely on for filling new gardens. Here are some of my favorites, along with a few more thoughts about planting and maintenance and some more pictures of how the gardens have evolved over the last decade.

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