Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Goodbye, Winter Awesomeness

I have started cutting down the garden and the sadness is unbearable. This was the first year I totally, completely, and head over heals fell in love with the detritus. Truly, the winter garden can be more spectacular than summer's. I think I'm beginning to see summer as either a utilitarian necessity (to help insects) or as cake topped with brownies topped with candy sprinkles topped with pie. No -- the summer garden is the necessary overkill that gets us to the more profound and penetrating echo of winter. The garden succeeds or fails in what it leaves behind. Just as we do.


With the loss of detritus comes the loss of plants that annoy me. I'm ripping out these: 95% of the iris, shasta daisy, giant knapweed (Centaurea macrocephela), Miscanthus 'strictus'. There's never any leaf damage, the number of insects on the flowers is paltry at best. And they aren't native. So I'll make room for some natives I want to experiment with, and I'll also have a crop of seedlings ready to go in June for transplant. More wild quinine, verbena, aster, sedge, liatris, milkweed, etc.

6 comments:

Emily Khan said...

To you, summer is a cherpumple (it's a real thing! Heinous, but real) :-)

dryheatblog said...

This really has me thinking - summer just "utilitarian necessity"...winter being "it". Usually I mock such thought, but your reasoning has some merit, Professor Prairie:-)

Benjamin Vogt said...

Ha, yes, a cherpumple. Maybe. David, I'll convert you yet!

Diana Studer said...

never any leaf damage. It must go.
That's a refreshing thought I'll follow.

greggo said...

Indeed. I wish I was brave enough to hang on to the brush longer. However my wife volunteered some labor, so I relented to the big cut about a month ago during spring break. What a abnormal spring it has been, too slow.
I agree with the adage to design for the winter. Lots of new american natives going into the prairie garden right now. Whoop!
Prairie up, right?

Benjamin Vogt said...

Diana -- here to serve!
Greg -- Prairie up BIG TIME!