Flower Gardening: Giving Up Control

In planning  flower gardens I  think about what perennials will grow the best, what is the best location to plant them, is there unique foliage, and how do textures work together. Often color is the last thing I think about. From the first blooming bulbs in the spring until the last standing mums in the fall my gardens take on different color arrangements depending on the plant, season, and weather.

In spring this year I was surrounded by lots of yellow, purple, and orange. I have tried to select a variety of colors of spring bulbs, even though red and yellow always announce spring brightly.

The next cycle of spring includes more purple and pink. I think every iris I own has turned to purple. They are pretty, but I do like some variety. Somehow the strongest surviving roses have been pink and trees bloom in pink. Columbines are now mostly purple.  Of course the lilacs border one large flower bed with different shades of purple.This creates an English cottage garden look that I like.

Right now the gardens are showing off in white. Once I tried to have just a white garden. I think they look cool and peaceful. That was early in my gardening career so the place was not good that I chose. Many of the plants are spread around now. I did have fun last night just photographing just white flowers.

 I use more planning when purchasing annuals for pots and planters around the gardens. This is where I can mix it up a bit. Some years I want a whole theme... like purple and orange or blues and whites. I did quite a mix this year, but tried to grow as many red flowers as I could for an upcoming family wedding.

A few years ago I let go of the idea that I could control what happens in my gardens. I can't.  I can give plants what they need to grow and bloom, but that is it. Sometimes that doesn't even work. That is the beauty of gardening. Plants change colors, some die while stronger ones emerge, and some disappear only to return a few years later. It is a mixed up mess, but I love it.


  1. Anonymous12.7.14

    I agree wholeheartedly, and once you give up control, flower gardening takes up less time and effort. I find I don't weed as much. I now have a wildflower garden that is almost completely self seeded, with a little help from me. In the early fall I do sprinkle seeds from my favorites randomly around the flowerbeds.

  2. I didn't even know you had a blog Bev. I have the same belief about weeding. I remember that lovely wildflower garden.


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