Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My muse is crazy!

The best part of being retired (voluntary or otherwise) is getting up early and enjoying coffee either on the deck or in the sunroom. It's a great time to check out garden progress and do some blue-sky thinking on future projects.

This morning I was gazing toward the veg bed and was miffed that some of the branches on the 2 sweet gum trees were interfering with my view. Hmmm. It was early (not yet 7 o'clock). No golfers out yet. I thought, why not dash out and clip off those couple of branches. No big deal and would only take a moment...

I threw a shirt over my PJs, slipped on my garden boots and dashed out to trim those couple of branches.

Half-an-hour later...! I trimmed not only the 2 sweet gums, but the silver maple behind it! Oh good grief. Why do I get so many harebrained ideas while I'm in my pajamas! And why do I think that whatever it is I want to do won't wait until I get dressed?

I piled the branches under the gum trees, came back inside, shucked off the shirt and boots, refilled my coffee and headed back to the sunroom to enjoy my new and improved view.

Ah. Comfy at last. I was about to take a sip and --- freeze! WHAMMO! That muse strikes again. Oh give me a break! *sob* But I can't resist. There, right in front of me, is the answer to a design problem that has plagued me for years. Namely: how to deal with those 2 trees.

In the picture above you can see how they just stab into the an expanse of lawn. They seem naked. I envisioned all kinds of shade gardens beneath them. Joined. Separate. Straight. Round. Nothing ever clicked.

But what I saw now was that I'd always concentrated on the beds themselves, their shape. I was missing an important design element for this situation. NEGATIVE SPACE.

I was so excited I abandoned my coffee, grabbed my shirt and boots and raced back outside.

I'm sure golfers see stuff like this all the time - crazy women in PJs and boots. Right? Grabbing branches and RE-ARRANGING them. Right? Then taking PICTURES of it all. Right? *sigh*

When I was done I was happy. For what I had realized from the sunroom window was that the shape of the beds were not important. What was important, what was satisfying, was the flow of the lawn between them. Before, the trees were just sticking up in a sea of grass. Now the branch trimmings outlined a smooth sweep, a river a grass that now not only flows between the trees, but also to the right, along the ring bed.

The bed on the right will be more or less round. The bed with the bench will be more substantial and rather concave, like a crescent moon, to reinforce the curved sweep of the lawn.

I don't know when I'll get to it, but the design is done. More newspapers from the library. More grass clippings. Lasagna beds are easy to make (after all, the crab and fence beds came out nice!).

Inside, it's off with the boots and shirt again and back to the sunroom. Now I really needed a break! Coffee! Coffee! I grabbed my cup.


Yuk! Cold!

Oh well. Might as well get dressed....


  1. Kris, I think you are possessed!

    It is very hard for serious gardeners to sit down with coffee or anything else to drink and just look.........there is always something that catches our eye that requires immediate attention. I try to force myself to have at least one cup of coffee and just sit and let my mind go blank.

    It's hard.

  2. I'll say this, Glenda. Now that I've allowed myself to get really serious about gardening since retiring, the days just fly past. It affects most of my day-to-day activities and decisions (including selections of sleep attire...;-D).

  3. You just give the golfers something to talk about, perhaps you made their day more interesting. In the fall when I was working on my perennial garden,I used some branches stuck into a bucket of dirt to represent the lilac I'm going to move. When DH came home on leave, he pulled the sticks out, claiming them to be an eyesore. I let hime do it, but he was not allowed to move the bucket of dirt...

  4. Hi Amy! Yes, I've done the same thing. At my old house I used buckets of dirt with branches stuck into them and moved them around so I could see where I wanted my future crabapples to be. LOL Great minds think alike! And gardeners - we think ALOT. :-D

  5. LOL What a funny story! I've been out in my pjs a few times, and we live right on a corner. I do try to get out of sight when I see a car coming.

    I put some tree roots where I had planted dahlias, and when Larry was available to cut the roots that were still connected to the stump, he started asking which was which, so I found other things to mark the dahlias.


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