Monday, May 30, 2005

Curious about Gardening: How Do You Plan Yours? Or Do You?

If you live in the States, you realize that one of the Memorial Day weekend traditions is planting your summer garden. So, I spent yesterday and part of today planting my new garden.

“Wait a minute,” you say, “I thought you just moved into a new apartment. They have gardens?”

Let me explain. In the apartment I just vacated, I was on the top floor and outside my bedroom window was a wonderful roof area with walls and spires. I used to go out through the window and work on my “roof garden” which was filled with pots, plants and even a small tree.

When I was planning my move to this wonderful new and spacious apartment, I remarked to the man in charge here that the only thing I would miss about my former living space was my “roof garden.” He e-mailed me that my “house-warming gift” from him would be topsoil and a garden they would dig up outside the door I use to enter the building.

He was true to his word. The garden was there, just waiting for this weekend.

In days long ago, I used to sit down and carefully plan my gardens. The idea was to create a well-designed and unified look with repetition of color and types of plants. During the past eleven years, I found that planting on the roof was quite different. I went for a combination of lots of color and variety. And, I tended to crowd the plants in their pots.

I discovered that I was delighted with the huge palette. An Oriental woman I had taken weaving with had always said, “You Americans are so funny with your careful color schemes. What you don’t seem to realize is that all colors work together.” She was right.

Now that I started to work on my new garden, I was in a quandary. The roof garden was really for my eyes only. This new garden, however, would be seen by others in the whole complex. I wanted to grow a few vegetables - the roof was just too hot for most - along with many of the colorful flowers I have grown to love.

I would not crowd the plants, and yet, even with the first purchases made on Friday, I discovered that the garden was bigger than I had imagined, so I went back for more plants today. More color and more variety.

It looks like my “Portfolio Career.” Variety and flexibility. I did plant the tallest at the back and made an effort to do some grouping by color and type, but overall the look is random. What a difference from the days when I so carefully planned on paper!

If anyone asks, I have my answer ready. “This year is my year for testing. You see, I just want to know what grows here successfully. That’s why there is such a variety.”

I am excited! The planning and planting were completed with fun and great expectation. As my crazy “Portfolio Garden” grows, I will take some photos and post them, so you can make your own decisions.

My questions to you are, “Do you have a garden? How completely do you plan it? Why not take a break from planning and let yourself go? You have my permission.”

And, do let me know how it turns out.