jeudi 30 avril 2009

In My Dry Garden

Caitlin pointed out that in that little "About Me" box on the left, I say that I mean for this blog to be a virtual notebook of things that inspire me, and that she would want to know what these sources of inspiration were.

Irises were one of the first things I planted. I saw them struggling in a forgotten corner of
the property, almost suffocated by wild grass, dug them up and replanted them.
Mindful of
the trauma they might have suffered at the hands of the couch grass,

I try my best to keep their plot weed-free.

One immediate thing that comes to mind, especially since it is spring and the flowers have begun blooming, is my dry garden.

I can spend hours working there, weeding the iris plot, fixing up the santolinas' water holes, trimming the Frankenia laevis that's been creeping up over the stepping stones. And yet, up until a few years ago, as I had lived in apartments most of my adult life, I knew absolutely nothing about gardening. My family would always say that I was the only girl they knew who could kill a potted cactus.

This pink cistus is also one of my garden pioneers.
I love the crepe-y look of the petals.

Then my husband and I moved to a space where there was nothing but land. No manicured lawns here, though, rather pesky couch grass, thorny wild raspberries, and, since we live near marshes, almost-impossible-to-get-rid-of reeds.

I suppose it was just my nature to want to make things better. Of course, the first year was an absolute disaster. I went to the garden shop, picked up just whatever I thought was pretty, and plonked those into holes, not realizing that there were things to consider such as soil pH levels, the harshness of the winds, even the amount of saltiness in the air! As you can guess, most of my plants from that season died.

My carboprotus. I planted them before I knew that they can become wildly invasive.
Now I pay very close attention to how I discard the
leaves after a trimming

I remember having a conversation once with Tony Leano, a Filipino artist with a green thumb, and him telling me that a big part of gardening is observing. You watch the plants, and you learn from them. Well that I did, but since I am more nerd than Zen Yoda master, I also did buy countless books on what plants succeed in dry conditions.

Cistus florentinus. This plant was chosen when I knew a little bit more,
and picked because it tolerates alkalinity well and can grow in partial shade.

Now that my first dry garden is going on two years old (and most of the plants still alive -- thank goodness!), I've begun a second one. So, Caitlin, on page one of my virtual inspiration notebook: two rectangles of earth.

One more of my pioneering iris, up close.

8 commentaires:

Ravenhill a dit…

Your garden is so beautiful, I am especially fond of Iris. Flowers will never cease to be wonderful source of inspiration will they?
~Emily xx

ingermaaike a dit…

Sublime colors, wanna recreate them all and make these in felt. Nature is indeed infinitely inspiring!

Jacqueline a dit…

Your garden is really pretty! Lovely photos and the colors, texture are very inspiring. :) Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

Dina Fragola a dit…

How pretty! I might start a garden of my own soon now :)

manang kepweng a dit…

After reading your post, I feel hopeful that I may actually have a green thumb. I've had potted plants wither and drown on me. I will take your advice: I will find out which plants survive best indoors, know how much to water with, and to learn from the plants.

Your blooms are so lovely, Apol :)

Caitlin a dit…

So pretty! I am inspired by your garden now too! I'm so glad you shared! Looking forward to hearing more about your inspiration!

Sigmosaics a dit…

wow Pomme you have definately got green fingers! these are beautiful flowers indeed.

Little Green Doll a dit…

Wow! Very beautiful garden with such wonderful flowers!!