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A life lived in the garden
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 3:26 PM

When I walk through the garden, the plants make me happy by virtue of their beauty. Their flowers can be fabulous, but it may be the way each plant plays off the others with foliage in shades of green, blue, white, red, yellow or pink. The textures of the leaves – spiky, rounded, ferny, lobulated, scalloped, shiny, fuzzy – also provide interest, especially when combined with the various architectural forms of trees, shrubs, and plants.

My garden isn’t a designer’s dream by any means. Much of what grows next to its neighbor got there by accident. Rarely do I visit a garden center with a specific purchase plan for the plants I buy. I’ll walk through, something grabs my attention, I buy it, and then I figure out where I’m going to put it when I get it home. I’m a plant collector.

While I aspire to assemble what grows in our gardens in an aesthetically pleasing way, that talent doesn’t come naturally to me. But now and then, a moment of brilliance strikes and the result works. Many people hire someone to design their gardens to achieve a desired effect, but for me, that’s just one of the aspects of gardening that I enjoy – playing with the plants, moving them around until I’m happy with how things look. My garden is one big learning laboratory where I perform all kinds of experiments.