Following the installation of the foundation plantings at the front of the house, our first project has been a mixed border at the front roadside, and a small bed at the back of the house. Having bought the house in wintertime, I couldn’t have known or anticipated the difficulty of the site. The rocks and hard-to-work clay soil take time, patience and a pick axe to navigate… along with more patience. I was initially perplexed by the omnipresent black walnuts, known for their toxicity to any number of plants under their canopy.  It has been a crash course in juglone-resistant perennials. Coneflowers and cranesbill, astilble and wood asters, there are a surprising variety of options that will work.

This is not a complaint.  Just an observation.

In my early gardens, I planted things too closely together and dealt with the implications later. I look at the garden and see the potential what it could someday become, but patience is not my virtue. It’s now just a series of shrubs and plants floating in a sea of mulched earth. The structure and framework are in place. But we’ll be living with broad gaps between plants for the next several years.

Butterflies are visiting the white coneflowers, and bees are making a beeline for the salvia and nepeta.

“Hurry up and wait” is my motto this season.