Winter Gardening

IMG_5076It’s been time to move the Tropicana canna I planted on the north corner of my house 4 years ago, as a spot of landscaping that affected my neighbor’s drive area.  My neighbor is an artist who was part of an open studio and my bungalow with primer on it, and a huge sheet of black plastic over the weedy front yard competed for attention with Ted’s pottery and sculptures.  So, I did a mini landscape just on the side of my house facing his.

Several weeks ago, looking at the mess along my back yard fence; irises that haven’t bloomed for two years, take-over-the-world ground cover that looks like violets but isn’t, and rubble — I thought how good the canna would look against the fence.  It is an old painted wood fence with shades of rusty red still showing.

Which meant digging and separating iris and filling wheel barrows with the nasty fake violet stuff.  Two days later, the back yard along the fence looks superb and the spot by Ted’s driveway doesn’t need canna.  Lots of other plantings and a small tree has filled in the yard nicely.

So this face in the dirt, bend, pull, dig, saw, clip, bend some more, lift and drag…this work right in the soil has a wonderful effect on my mind.  Even though it is tiring physically, it is so mentally restful.  And satisfying to leave things tidy for spring.  There will be iris.  There will be tall cannas with fabulous print leaves and even flowers.

I am looking forward to pruning the wisteria vine by my front porch in the morning.  Another chance for the gardener to create order and promote the health and vitality of the garden.

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