Designed as a screen to eventually cover the view of the garage from the dining room, the Pink garden changes subtly day by day. Pictures don’t represent it fully, just as filmed versions of live theater never have the same impact as the real experience. These pictures show the Pink garden in its second year; only the plum tree is in its third year. I love living with this garden. I can’t get enough of the slowly unfurling drama. Watching the garden progress through the seasons hypnotizes me. Gazing at the ebb and flow of budding, blooming, going to seed, and battling between rivals engrosses me. I’ll step in to sort out an nasty tiff, do some weeding, move some plants around or eliminate bad guys, but the main delight is in letting the players improvise.
When you live with a garden, rather than simply walking past “the landscaping” with a quick glance, you begin to see gardening as a relationship. A garden, as opposed to landscaping, is personal. Landscaping is just another product you can buy. A garden is a place you can inhabit. I love to walk by houses where gardens have been created rather than installed. I’m a little embarrassed by the ugly moments in the Pink garden, but I know real gardeners will understand. I leave the seed heads for the birds in winter. I follow my fascination with the life cycle and watch things shrivel, collapse, and die or not die. I let all the native bugs reign free and chew holes in the leaves. I (gasp) leave plantain weeds behind the roses because plantain are hosts to Buckeye butterflies. If I am to live with this garden, this garden must be teeming with life. It’s what I ask of those with whom I form relationships.