Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Magic Gardener

Yesterday a visitor strolled through the formal garden at the Wildflower Woods while I was rescuing peonies from the feral ravages of ginger. The visitor, who read Gene Stratton Porter's books when she was young, was pretending to be walking through The Magic Garden. I pretended to be an old Italian male gardener to enhance her fantasy. With my marked lack of ability to talk in an accent, I think I managed to destroy the moment for her.

I haven't read her books since I was young. Her first books were nature studies and they didn't sell too well. So she decided to wrap the nature studies in a treacly plot and became a best-selling author, rivaling Jack London at the time. I will read the books this time to garner clues about the garden plantings.

The pictures are in the upper west end of the bed. I spent the first week cleaning quack grass out of the bed on the left and then started on the bed on the right. In the top picture you can see in the foreground the ginger overrunning the peonies. Other wildflowers have been allowed in this bed, such as the tall Joe Pye weeds and violets. The round bed in the center is suppose to be the blue bed, but is more orange and yellow now. These are just 3 of the 35 beds in the formal garden. The garden really is lovely. I just chose to start in the beds that needed the most work.

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