When you look at a complex garden, and I have one, you have to envision the plants as part-players in an orchestra. The musicians all have their part to play in color, texture, wildlife habitat, and seasonal bloom timing. While some plants push to the forefront, there will be those waiting in the pit ready to perform as the season progresses.
Sure you got the solo artists of the concert, but the important thing – it is a concert. All plants are impactful in their own way. The perennial standouts of each week differ with eye-catching flowers reaching above the rest, the blinding color in some instances are there only briefly. Why are they important? You can see them from a distance. They add a lot of life to the scene. Life visually, but also literally when wildlife visits – those that you have been seeing with my feature plant posts lately.
Other plants are fillers that pay homage to those around them. Quieter, looser, softer, airier, and more delicate, they champion the showy, colorful plants shouting for attention.
Some of the cast are spire-like, towering high above the others like an exclamation point as they bolt skyward. Veronica and sage in the mix.
Complex gardens sound so much better than mishmash gardens. Gardens of too much excess can get confused and jumbled. Often complex gardens do have excess, but again if well planned and contained, the color and texture keeps on coming with waves of interest. The floral splendor continues, the service to wildlife soldiers on.
Too bad the weather has been arid and parched, the brief rain the other day was but a token. Parched plants were fleeting, lasting a mere day, but boy did they play their hearts out. I have been really apathetic this year having to water so frequently even with all the drought resistant plants. I hope this is not what is in store from now on.
Uneasiness about this particular summer, plants feeding insects need rain to make nectar. Plants supporting insect development need water. It is most evident in natural spaces with meadows dry and blooms shriveled. In drought, it is the home gardens to the rescue, where we can monitor when plants are exhausted from the heat or on death’s door from drought. Above the moth caterpillar is found eating the cosmos in my tiny city garden, not a nature park or preserve. In It’s a Small World Out There, I showed the small Black Swallowtail caterpillars in the garden. Very tiny.
In a week, I am off again visiting gardens for a few weeks. Hopefully they are colorful… and upon my return, I hope to have a garden showing a new ensemble of perennial players. The Hibiscus, Pee-Gee Hydrangea and Perovskia are on the way.