So still, where to begin? Well, it seems time to order a few seeds and things for the spring. I've never done that. To do that, I have to think about design. Urgh. Not a lot of help there.
Photos. Perhaps. Let me try to find the best and worst of last year.
I'd put a few bulbs in right after we arrived, the first fall, and the very best show was in the spring, right after we got back from our honeymoon--tulips, daffodils, grape hyacinths, forsythia:
This is a magical place in the spring. I can feel the age of the land, its less-tampered-with quality because the house has been in place for almost 200 years. As far as I can tell, the yard hasn't been wed-or-fed, certainly not lately, perhaps not ever. There are naturalized crocuses and courses of wild flowers, blue, white and yellow, pink, threaded all through the bright spring grass, against a backbone of more domestic but long established azaleas, rhododendrons, dogwood, and the (unusual to me, coming from the midwest) early blooming andromeda (pieris japonica). The explosion of color and profusion of what is clearly a long, long established eco-system gave me the idea of trying to create or re-create a garden that would stay true to the place.
I honestly don't know what that means. This was a farmhouse. It wasn't a Victorian home with a formal garden. It doesn't even have the feel of informal English gardens. But it seems clear to me that the women and men who have lived here have loved this postage stamp of land and that it has attracted owners who love to garden, along the lines of what might be considered an old-fashioned American way.
So I figure that a garden that hews more to American folk would suit the house. It's the summer flowers that have disappeared in the intervening years, that I want to put here, or as I think of it, put back. Irises. Roses. Lilac. Peonies. Lily of the Valley. Day Lilies. Black-eyed Susans. Zinnias. Marigolds. That's what I want.
My first attempts last summer were pretty meager. Here's a month-by-month journal of sorts:
The bulbs were done in the garden by the studio door, so I put in a few perennials--coneflower, black-eyed susans and russian sage--, some herbs--thyme, chives, oregano--, and planted seeds of poppy, marigold, alyssum and zinnia ... waiting ...