Yes, I meant to put that ‘e’ in the middle of ‘landscaping’ to make a new word: landescaping. I define it as the art of losing yourself in a gardening project, or escaping into the comfort of working with plants, even if you have a crispy brown thumb rather than a green one.
My paternal grandfather had as green a thumb as it’s possible to have–he could look at weeds and they’d fly out of his garden, or he’d jerk up a plant by its head and stuff it in the ground somewhere else and it would grow better than one that had been carefully transplanted, fertilized, and mulched. He once said he figured he’d hoed every cornfield in Western North Carolina, and he was probably right!
Anyway, he passed a good portion of his skills to my father, and they’ve trickled down in part to my generation, although none of us ever get the results ‘Daddy Paul’ got from his gardening or plantings.
I’ve been living in my little house for 16 years now (have mercy–how did that happen?) and I still have very little landscaping other than what the woods that surround the place provide. It’s depressing to still see red clay showing from when the lot was graded back in 1974–I’ve amended no soil, and my few attempts to have an herb or flower garden have mostly been mowed down by my over-zealous lawn-boy (i.e. my dad).
This year, for some reason, I’ve made a slightly more organized attempt to grow a few things and have chosen containers as my starting point rather than in-ground beds. I started with two plants–a lavender and a rosemary–in a dish and have progressed to hen-and-chicks, sedum, golden oregano, creeping white thyme, and a purple ground cover (the name escapes me at the moment) against a backdrop of miniature stripey grass (zebra grass, I believe it is) just like the kind outside the Universal Joint in West Asheville. I bought most of the plants from A Gardeners Place located at Biltmore–they have a great selection of everything you need to make your garden pretty!
Here’s are the results of my impromptu landescaping efforts from earlier today:
And yes, this project did provide a relaxing journey into the landescape of my mind, which is always a welcome place to be…