We don't have a lawn like our neighbors. They pay those people with funny colored trucks to come and spray poisons on their lawns that mean they have to mow more often. Ours is a combination of clover, violets, a smattering of fescue and a lot of wiregrass. It's green. Sometimes it's purple, and sometimes it is a fragrant white. We refer to it as "what passes for lawn."
So the plan is to kill off "what passes for lawn" in most of the front yard and create a giant, lovely flower bed of daylilies and perennials. I've finally identified the next part that is going to become flower bed, and it's been a matter of observing where the sun is, and how rapidly the dogwoods are declining in their years of hospice. One of the members of the daylily society is an arborist and he said this could take quite a long time, so I can begin shifting the focus from the shade plants to sun plants gradually.
Yesterday, after I had gotten an extreme upper body workout with hedge clippers, bringing overgrown shrubbery into some semblance of order, I decided the rest of the day would have to be less strenuous. I'd "unheeled" the daylilies and potted them up in order to get them out of their states of deshabille, but they needed to be tagged so I could figure out where to put them. Thanks to the closure of Buffalo Spring Herb Farm in Raphine, I inherited a large box of zinc plant markers, so I have all kinds of plant headstones. John, my book binding teacher, said he uses a grid map to keep track of his plants. He said it with a slight trace of disdain for plant labels. It was the same level of indulgent disapproval I got from Jake when he first dubbed them plant headstones. Oh, okay, I do keep a map, but it isn't much of a map, so the markers are what I need.
But yesterday, as I was happily making labels with my fabulous Brother label machine and the box of used zinc markers, I got to thinking about plant placement and that I knew nothing about a lot of the daylilies I needed to get into the ground. That's when the idea of the grid began percolating.
First, full disclosure. I'm fond of graph paper. I love those little squares. I wrote lesson plans on looseleaf grid paper. I buy composition books that are grid printed. My Levenger notecards are printed with grids. People notice my tidy notes written in tidy outliny fashion. So, it isn't like making a grid map of my garden is such a stretch.
What is a stretch is getting me to the point of being organized enough to PLAN a garden before I stick one thing in it. I have never, ever done that! I'm a dig a hole and stick it in gardener.
There I've said it. I garden the same way I make art. Totally random, without thinking about it when I start, and then problem solving as it progresses.
The time, however, has come when I have to bring order to the confusion, and before I plant one more daylily, there will be a plan that is based on space, color and the necessity of long-blooming perennials to maintain interest once peak bloom season is over.
It is time to create the grid.