August 23, 2006

Next year - or not

There's a sort of melancholy settling over my garden as mid-summer moves into late summer. I don't have enough fall bloomers, although the roses, daturas, four o'clocks, Rozanne and a few annuals are keeping enough colour to be somewhat respectable. My grape-leafed anemone is sending up its first flower scapes, so I'm looking forward to those blooms, although they will just be a hint of what is to come in future years. But most of the perennials are done for the year, the bleeding heart foliage is turning yellow and the freshness of spring is a distant memory.

Needs fixingAnd there's a melancholy settling over the gardener too. Gardeners learn to take a bit of a long view, at least if they deal with trees, shrubs and perennials. There is a definite satisfaction to putting something in the ground, but the real payoff is a year, or two, or ten down the road.

And therein lies my problem. I am probably moving next summer, so I have to keep curbing my impulse to plan, to plant, to improve. There isn't much point in doing any of that. The next owner could very well tear it all out, so although the gardener in me is crying out for rudbeckias and asters, the realist in me keeps saying, "Forget it, chickie. All improvement plans are shelved!"

The frustration is exquisite. I haven't even got this garden properly established and I have to rein myself in. And I am discovering more and more how much gardeners think and dream of next year, because I'm having to be as ruthless with those dreams as if they were weeds.

I consoled myself by ordering bulbs. At least I will be able to enjoy them for one spring.

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