Garden Variety Anxiety
On Saturday a busload of native plant enthusiasts will visit my garden. I’ve participated in this garden tour twice before, enjoying it both times. And yet, I can’t stop myself from worrying about it.
This is no doubt because I am a compulsive worrier and an instinctive pessimist. It’s not just that the glass is half empty, it’s that whatever is in the glass will probably give me food poisoning.
Let’s get specific. My brain has been busy concocting possible causes of mortification during Saturday’s garden tour. Here’s a sample.
- Shoddy hardscaping. Most of the paths and raised beds are amateur efforts, and it shows. Stones and pavers are set so unevenly that they can cause loss of balance or even seasickness.
- Tacky containers. The flowers in the containers are pretty nice, generally, but the containers themselves are ugly. Mostly I use cheap plastic jobbies from Home Depot, plus a few grower’s pots which at the time I thought would be wasteful to throw away. Eyes will roll.
- Too many weeds. I have pulled about a bushel of weeds from my beds and borders, mostly Violets and Creeping Charlie. But what about the ones I missed? Creeping Charlie will hide under the foliage of ornamentals, then rush out to cover any bare space while your back is turned. It only takes a moment.
- Too much bare earth. Now that I pulled out all those weeds, there are many more spots where you can see bare earth. I like everything to be covered with plants, but now there will have to be an archipelago of mulch islands amongst the foliage, though I am filling in a few spots with emergency annuals.
- Not enough “real” natives. I can see some native plant fundamentalist saying: “What’s this? Cultivars? DAYLILIES!? You call this a native plant garden? Why, this garden is nothing but a FRAUD!”
Fortunately, I know from experience that once the garden tour group arrives, all these fears will melt away. In the meantime, wasn’t that some Creeping Charlie over there?