Losing My Garden

“A garden is a delight to the eye and a solace for the soul.” ~Sadi Ranson

When I moved in January of 2020, I knew that the small garden bed that surrounded our rental townhouse was not mine. But I was encouraged to plant a garden. Nothing elaborate, but yes put in some lovely shrubs and flowers if I so desired.

So I spent a good deal of my spring this year designing and planting my fledgling garden. Bulbs and the few bushes and plants that I had managed to get in the ground in the fall of 2020 were growing in nicely. I had a vision of vines on 2 trellises growing along the back patio with some reliable perennials and containers of herbs and annuals.

Veggies growing in containers also along the back with a new sweep of native plants (all my favorites) bringing us to the shady part of the garden along the side. And then moving around the corner of the house to the sun and my cutting gardens, perennials and the first garden I planted in the spring we arrived, the herb garden. Yes it was all filling in, and the visions were swirling for changes and tweaks here and there. I had even managed to plant a lovely perennial and cutting garden in my neighbors small patch that bordered my driveway.

Then an email came about landscapers working in the garden beds. OK, what is it this time, spraying, weeding, cutting backing, mulching. I had an agreement with these guys not to touch my garden as I took care of it. So when I saw the unfamiliar company trucks around, I went to investigate. I took one look at what they were doing and my heart sank. They were digging out plants, and covering mulched beds with landscape fabric and stone. Oh my god no!! What the heck is this??? So I went up to the management office and was met with a matter fo fact statement that all gardens were being pulled out as per corporate office, and a few plants would remain so the development would have uniformity. I pleaded, I raged and then I spoke the truth that hurt….‘Why wouldn’t you tell me this was going to happen? You knew! You knew months ago but didn’t have the common curtesy to tell me. I would have saved time, money and back breaking work.’

When no answers to these questions were forthcoming, I was given over to their boss, but again was met with a matter-of-fact this is how it is and was promptly hung up on. I could move, but to where and for what reason…spite, anger, hurt. Never good things to base major life changes on. So I was plunged into deep grief. Neighbors from all over the development were horrified to learn the garden they loved to gaze upon was to be ripped out. It made no sense to anyone. My only option was to put what I could into pots. Try to save my most precious plants, and those that might survive in a container.

Finally 2 men showed up to my door to look at my garden. They knew about it and had seen it. Thankfully one, the guy from corporate, was a gardener. He was lovingly touching my 4 foot high dahlias finally budding when we had the gardeners talk that lasted a good 45 minutes. Why I was not a fan of stone mulch but a combo, native plants, new cultivars and what many of the plants were. He was simply amazed at what he was seeing, and he knew I needed time. The decision was made that my garden would be done last sometime in early October. With that I was breathing again. And then the second miracle occurred. Not everything was being taken out. I could keep some bushes and plants. And I could keep the 2 trellises and vines along the patio. So I made a plan to give away my plants. If anyone was to dig them up it would be me…and of course only after I had a chat with my plants so they knew what was happening. I would try and find new homes for them. I researched and bought the containers, and was to begin digging up the plants, but a heat wave in August kept the weather so hot for the whole month and into September. So I delayed my plans until late September.

I gave away dozens of plants to new homes which made me happy. Such incredible friends. Right before the landscapers came, I finished by digging up and moving plants to containers and moving a few into spots agreed upon. The hardest part was ripping out my cutting garden. I did manage to make a few vases though that you can see below.

It was a relatively painless day the 20th of October when the men came. Mostly sunny but a bit chilly.

I was out there directing and making sure the plans were followed. And here it is. With only a few plants left, in different spots, it all looks so barren. You can see where the brown is, that is how much they shrunk up the beds and planted more grass.

No more seeding flowers for cutting in the ground. Many bulbs will not grow again or even naturalize. Plants that volunteered are gone. I’m not used to everything in containers. So that will be a new learning curve. This will all take some getting used to.

The containers I decided on are a group of pots that are modern in look and dark charcoal in color to contrast to the light gray stone they put down. Apparently the straight lines and charcoal finish are a hot trend in modern landscape designs. Who knew as I am more into cottage garden design. Great for indoor or outdoor use they are made of light-weight concrete and weather-resistant fiberglass making them breathable, strong, durable, weather and damage resistance with long-lasting color. Manufactured by Kante, I bought three 31” large rectangular, two 23” small rectangular, two 18” tall round, one 20” round bowl, and two 16” round bowls. My plans for the containers are still morphing so as we get toward spring, I’ll give you more of an idea of what I am thinking.

The garden has always been where I could find my true self…to meet my soul….find solace and answers. And I expect it will continue with this new garden. I plan to nurture it with all the love, sweat and tears I have given all my gardens. There was one surprise and gift that came out of all this…..my native garden. It did not make it into any container, but much of it will live again. Ah, but that’s a story for another time…soon.

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A few of the many vases created from the cutting garden before it was pulled, and many blooms cut from plants that were given away or moved.

Linking in to a wonderful meme I have missed over the last 2 years, In A Vase On Monday, at Rambling in the Garden.

All the pictures shared in this post were taken with my Nikon Coolpix or iPhone camera, and manipulated on my iPhone using the apps, Pixlr and Prisma.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2022.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

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