Monday, July 22, 2013

In a riotous garden

Every gardener has their own philosophy of growing things. There are the planners, with their matching trees and balanced areas: the get-it-done-and-forget-it types, looking for easy care plants: the pot movers, who are never content with an arrangement: the clippers and pruners; our last neighbour was one of those. Every weekend he spent the daylight hours undoing all the happy growth that his shrubbery had managed that week.

I am more haphazard. Things get put in -- "here, for now" -- wherever I find a space. I pick up plants I like, then figure out what to do with them later. I don't leave many empty spaces.

Laurie likes a specimen garden, with almost no duplication. It's all very tidy; he fusses over leaves blown in from the maple trees on the street.

My son has an older house with a big lot on the sunny slope of New Westminster, a prime garden spot. And he's at the lavish end of the enthusiast curve. He loves anything that grows, large plants, useful plants, curious plants, old familiar flowers, wild "weeds", exotics, things raised from seeds begged off other gardeners, herbs for the pot, plants that someone said could be eaten, even bigger plants. And he doesn't believe in restraining them; they have their life to live, and he lets them be. And they respond, reaching for the sky above, spreading roots and branches to cover every millimetre of space. Fruit trees, raspberries, day lilies, roses, corn and peas and broad beans, cilantro and epazote, lilacs and grapes (the vine covers most of his shed and is reaching for the nearest pear tree), maple, potatoes, and sunflowers, abelia and lavender, blue-blossom, ... the list goes on.

His compost heaps are over my head.

And the insects love it! He doesn't mind; they're as much a part of the exuberant life in that garden as the veggies are.

Yesterday's bee and the butterfly from the day before were on his abelia bush. And here are a few more.

I don't know what kind of beetle this is. It's a Flower Longhorn. Very angular about the shoulders, with a pointed rear end and marvellous antennae.

A syrphid fly, I think. Now it's the flowers I can't identify. They tower over my head.

Honeybee on the same flower heads.

Dazzling nasturtiums, with tiny white flies here and there. And spiders hiding in the leaves.

Red hollyhocks, far overhead. This one has a few tiny black beetles in the centre.

This vine covers the back half of the shed and is on its way over the driveway to the house. No bugs that I could see on this stalk, but the whole shebang was a-buzz with bees and a tribe of long-legged wasps.

More tomorrow, too.

1 comment:

  1. I'd forgotten about nasturtium! And hollyhocks, I haven't been able to manage. Oh well!


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