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Revisions in Design

John Dryden wrote, "And let no spot of idle earth be found, but cultivate the genius of the ground."

As the growing season ends and we look at our gardens with a critical eye, we often wonder if we should make changes in our overall design.

After years of expanding my garden, I have decided to eliminate two beds. All summer, I referred to them as condemned beds. As plants flowered in them, I made a difficult decision whether to move the plants to another site or to get rid of them. The process was strikingly similar to cleaning out my closets.

Parting Ways

While it is hard to part with items, it is therapeutic to know other people will use them. Reorganizing and purging, has a cleansing effect on the soul.

I am thinking too that my garden may benefit from having some beds that are dedicated to just one type of flowering plant. Perhaps I should move all of the peonies, for example, so that they are all together in a bed.


Dedicated beds allow for the focus of attention to shift around the garden as the sequence of bloom unfolds. This would, of course, be a major strategic shift for me as I have been trying to have something always in bloom in every bed. But maybe shifting the focus of attention could be a way of cultivating the genius of the ground.

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