There are some gardens that, once a plant gets put in the ground, it stays there, never to be moved again. That is not the story of my garden. In the twenty-seven years that I’ve lived at my house there has been nearly continual change. The two main factors that were at the root of these rearrangements were the deer (that have multiplied over the years) coupled with the changing needs of my family. I’ve blogged about it a couple of times, Oh Deer, Why So Many Tulips? and Vegetables, my garden’s inner sanctum. All of that “moving around” has slowed down in the last 5-6 years, in part because I’m getting older and the plants are getting bigger, but I needed to put more thought into the design after deer-proofing my backyard. That was such a huge undertaking that it forced me to have more of a plan to go along with the garden I wanted.
In a land far, far away…
As you can imagine, there were plants that got lost in the shuffle. If I didn’t have room for a plant anymore, I would dig it up and get rid of it. Or if a certain plant didn’t look good next to another plant, up and out it would go to be tucked into another garden bed. It was exhilarating to say the least.
The stow-away plants were the ones that I would lose track of. They would be dormant and hiding in a root ball of another plant that, after being dug up, would get secretly moved to a new location only to be discovered at a later time. Some of these were good mistakes and all would end well but, others would disappear for years, if they were ever found again.
…a safe harbor…
This year has been usually quiet in my garden. I’ve planted a few new trees and bushes, but there really hasn’t been the usual shuffling of plants. I feel pretty happy about where everything’s at! It has freed up a lot of my time, so I decided instead to spend some time tidying up and spreading a fresh layer of mulch.
Getting the garden ready for mulch made me think about some of the plants that I’ve lost track of. I knew where a few of my trillium were, but one that was an unusual variety hadn’t been seen in years. There was also a trout lily that had been accidentally left behind in a bed that had been reverted back to lawn. I had always meant to move it, but that part of the yard had been dug-up over this last winter when we had some plumbing issues so, my hopes of locating the trout lily weren’t very high.
… in a garden of sunken treasures
It would have been easier to mulch in the winter or fall. Now that spring is here, everything seems to be waking up, making the process of mulching a much more picky process. First, I cutback dead foliage and rake, then I weed and finally I pull the soil away from the edge to create a stopgap for the mulch, all the while I’m trying to not break or step on the tender new shoots. It can be more than a little nerve wracking!
While going over my whole garden with a fine-tooth comb, I found some of my old plant-friends peaking up at me from the ground! Not only did I spot the toad lily, but also more trillium than I can remember planting. Some are just beginning to show themselves but, I know it’s them. I’m so happy they’re still here with me, ready to usher in yet another spring.