Sunday, July 20, 2008

Garden with your nose and mouth.


So much order. If only.


For those following along, a while back I hired a landscape guy to make a plan for me and hopefully install the whole thing. I was ready to spend whatever it took. But, well, he wasn't a good listener. I decided it would be better to go it alone.

So far:

1. Nothing has been done to the patio. It's still a cement slab.

2. I am hating the slab these days because my weekly yard guys dug up beds around my yard and things have finally been planted. It certainly doesn't look like some antiseptic and perfect yard, but it's such an improvement that I am not as hell-bent on replacing the patio quite yet.

3. My plant-buying has been haphazard. It was quite organized recently, when I knew beds were being prepared and I would need to have stuff ready to plant asap. But there were some miscellaneous plants languishing in their plastic containers for many weeks, plants that I bought here and there early on when I was full of good intentions but had no plan. As usual, I couldn't commit them to any particular spot in the ground. I felt like the whole thing had to be perfect before anything could be stuck in the ground.

Well, I finally said, "Fuck perfect" and started planting everything with abandon. One plant in its sad little black plastic container looked like some kind of advanced-placement boxwood. I didn't even remember what is was. It turned out to be a gardenia.

Holy shit.





The funny thing is, I had never smelled a real gardenia. My only exposure was various cheesy gardenia-sceneted bath products, as well as the giant bottle of Chanel Gardenia that I molest every time I go to Nordstrom.

As soon as the first bloom opened up, it just knocked me out. Today I bought 2 more, and also bought another jasmine. The best things in the yard so far have proven to be things I can either cut & put in a vase, things I can eat (mint, basil, rosemary, oregano) and things I can smell.

Whether or not everything "goes" matters less and less to me. All I wanted was my little slice of the city where I could go outside and enjoy my bit of green. And finally, I do. I love it back here. It's perfectly imperfect, and that's plenty good enough for me now.

12 comments:

Be the change..... said...

oh that sounds lovely! The best kind of garden to me is one with many things to smell - love LOVE love gardenia, lilac and all the herbs :-) If only I had a garden :-(

Anonymous said...

those gardenias, they're like horticultural high fashion, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

Finally ! some news never understood the landscape guy with all the help you had here ... pve , me et al
and the gardenias yes wonderful but they're tropical , plan to bring them in this winter .... not a natural by you and if you ever want to top a gardenia, smell a magnolia on in full bloom on a late summer early fall evening.....trust me, I promise

Anonymous said...

"not a natural by you and if you ever want to top a gardenia, smell a magnolia on in full bloom on a late summer early fall evening.....trust me, I promise"

Translation?

the quarter rat said...

Anonymous 9:52,
natural by you = not native to Ms. Decorno's climate (Seattle, I believe). Nobody called the syntax police.

Enjoy your gardenias D - with a glass of bourbon. The two smells complement each other beautifully.

i suwannee said...

the couple of weeks that the gardenias bloom at my house are the happiest ever. i cut little flowers and put them EVERYwhere in the house to keep the happiness flowing. i wish they lasted longer.

Anonymous said...

Our magnolias bloom in the spring here (east coast), not late summer or early fall. Is it a regional difference?

Anonymous said...

I had the same experience with a landscaper. I swear he drew in every single thing that I told him NOT to do. I told him to keep the (substantial) deposit and end it there.

It's best if you can sketch out your own plan, then see if you can get the individual people to do the stonework and fencing, etc.

Landscapers around here (NJ) have horrible, horrible taste. They want to pave everything in sight and put in a bunch of twirly evergreens in blue and yellow. Then rock mulch everwhere. Hideous.

Ok that was my rant.

Prima Donna Momma said...

I love Gardenia's but never had much luck into keeping them around. =( Good Luck with the smellies!
http://coutureliving.blogspot.com/

Joslyn said...

yep...i discovered a gardenia bush in my yard a couple of months ago...and it was as if i had stumbled upon the holy grail. incredible.

Balsamfir said...

I have that problem with my carpenter now. They always seem so great at the start... Jackhammers are really fun actually. You can rent the the electric ones and turn your yard guys loose. Wear earplugs.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

That's sort of the way that Mrs. E. and I have approached the back yard... and yes, the gardenia is unreal when it blooms. We also planted four little tiny lavender plants a few years back... now we have to give the stuff away. But it smells great when you brush up against it on your way out of the compound. Kitchen herbs up next!