Urban Garden Denver Blog

White Canvas in the Garden for 2012

While the garden rests under a blanket of white snow, I contemplate a fresh start in my front yard in 2012. The underlying goal of my front garden has shifted from covering the chain link fence with vines and flowers to maximizing the canvas of my new ornamental iron fence. I’m sure many of my existing plants will continue happily on, providing color to grace the front yard. But the new fence provides an opportunity to reassess my plantings. I cut back most of the honeysuckle for the new fence installation. Come spring, I can decide if all the honeysuckle goes or if I let some grow up on the new fence. I am already planning for more lavender and more echinacea (coneflower). I am wondering about a new rose-bush as well. Last fall I removed some salvia that had been great for 5 years and declining for 3 years. Unsure of what to replace it with, I planted lots of bulbs in that section so at least I can enjoy a spring display before deciding between summer annuals or new perennials.

The interesting thing about the new fence is that it provides an opportunity to reassess the reason for various plantings. It’s a great shift for the new year and a good analogy for other areas of life. As the new year stretches as a white canvas ahead, I can follow the patterns of the past, or I can decide to try some new “plantings” and see what bears fruit. There have been many changes in my life situation over the past few years, with new opportunities in the empty nest season and new patterns in my husband’s work. How do these changes create new opportunities on my canvas and how will I decide to paint in new areas? I want to have the courage to paint boldly on the canvas, rather than make tentative pencil marks. However, I can also decide to try out some annuals for a few years, rather than committing to long-term plants such as perennials and shrubs. The canvas stretches before me … ready for the paint of the new year.

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