Saturday, April 30, 2016
My home this season: April 2016
Here is a little planting bed -- formerly the bottom pool of a water feature that was non-functional by the time we moved in to our house -- just outside our living room sliding door.
Almost everything in this bed is a Pacific Northwest native plant -- western meadow rue, fringecup, yellow violet, beach strawberry, columbine, TWO kinds of camas (I am inordinately proud of growing this plant!).
I don't think my husband is a huge fan of what I've done with this spot, and I admit it looks rather messy -- but that's precisely what I like about it. The way the wild plants have been allowed to grow, well, wild, and they've filled in the space with drifts and mounds of subtle flowers and delicate leaf shapes. (In fact, "what I've done with this spot" is not really accurate -- mostly, it's been the plants' doing.)
Why am I posting photos of my garden under the aegis of my monthly "what my home looks like these days" update? Well, to remind myself that our outdoor space is our home too. That's something I've been ignoring lately, to be honest. I've been frustrated by the fact that we've lived here for 11 years, and we've worked steadily on the yard every year, but it's STILL overrun with weeds and invasives, and we STILL don't have an overall landscape plan to guide us.
The truth is, our lot is substantially larger than I really want to take care of (a function of the outlying neighborhood where we could afford to buy a house). And at least one-third of it consists of rockery, slope, and parking strip that is inaccessible, difficult to maintain, and/or not really useful as a space for us to actually spend time in.
So I've just felt done with it all -- I don't want this, so I'm pretending I don't have to deal with it. It's too much work, and I don't have time.
And then I thought about something I read in one of Marie Kondo's books. (I know, I know -- go ahead and roll your eyes.) She says you have to take care of your home, even if you're not thrilled with the home itself, because your current home leads you to your next home. To be clear, we're not planning on moving anytime soon, so we're not actually looking for our next home. But something about that admittedly woo-woo formulation seemed useful to me in dealing with the ambivalence I've always felt about the house itself. (Basically, the way I put it is -- we bought in an extremely hot market, so I knew I would have to compromise on space, style, or location, but I was kind of bummed about having to compromise on all three.)
And a week or two ago it occurred to me -- ohhhhh, that all goes for the yard, too. I realized that lately I haven't been fair to our little patch of habitat. So I'm trying to re-engage. And while this little pool doesn't quite constitute an overall landscape plan, come to think of it, it's a glimpse of what I'd like to achieve.