Ruby-pink flowered hydrangea enjoys life in the pathway.

Duchess of Dirt: Prolific plant life impinging on pathways

It is the height of summer and definitely a jungle in our garden now. Nigh impossible to walk down any of the paths without running into botanical interference.

Garden paths. Those wide highways one allows between the flower beds. Gently meandering through the landscape…beckoning one to venture on a journey.

Initially, we had left ample width for the paths when we started our back garden makeover.

Funny thing that. They seem to have greatly shrunk.

Reason? The inveterate caretakers of this garden are a couple of incorrigible plant collectors. Such irresponsible behaviour has necessitated increasing the size of the odd (make that every) flower bed. Hence, the pathways have narrowed precipitately in the last 17 years.

Granted, if the major landscape designer of the back garden had paid attention to standard plant placement protocol, narrowed paths would not be such an issue.

Large plants should be to the back…or middle of the bed, if it is an island. Medium-sized plants are placed in front of those, thus leaving the edge of the bed…the part right next to the path…for small stature plants.

You know. The respectable low ones which are easy to step over, even if they should over-extend their boundary somewhat.

Case in point. It is difficult getting past a large, mixed patch of Eupatorium purpureum ‘Atropurpureum’ (Joe Pye weed) and Filipendula rubra ‘Venusta’ (meadowsweet). Both are roughly eight feet (2.4 metres) tall and are reaching across to rub up against the hydrangea paniculata ‘Kyushu’ flowers across the path. It is even harder to get to the greenhouse with Darmera peltata (umbrella plant) on one side and a ruby-pink flowered hydrangea on the other. If you do dare to venture down this path, be sure to duck or Rosa ‘New Dawn’ will lift your hat right off your head.

I do have one theory about this garden jungle atmosphere in the back garden. Makes it very hard to find my husband when I need him.

On another note…we had some garlic bulbs ruined by botrytis rot. Check out my blog for more info on this fungus, and garlic rust. (www.duchessofdirt.ca)

Leslie Cox co-owns Growing Concern Cottage Garden in Black Creek. Her website is at www.duchessofdirt.ca and her column appears every second Thursday in the Record.

 

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