12/29/2011

Design Thoughts on a Garden


A Few of My Favorite Things at the park has been undergoing a renovation. It was two years ago (?) that I adopted the plot and since then I have puttered a bit here and there as I watched and waited to see what the garden would reveal. Part of the fun, or at times frustration, of taking over an existing plot is you really do not know what you have until you sit back and wait a while.  

Come this fall I was done waiting and was ready for a major overhaul.  I divided a large grass and relocated it to the back of the plot, removed some perennials that never really wowed me and installed some shrubs; a Virginia Sweetspire and a Mount Airy Fothergilla. (I think!! I lost the tags and my memory is a bit fuzzy.)

When I adopted my plots I made a critical error; I failed to consider structure within my garden. Even though the garden plots are part of the total design of the lawn area of the park which includes a continuous yew hedge, walkways, magnolias, a massive pergola and mature trees, the plots as well need to contain their own bones. In the winter my plots look a bit like blank stamps, sad voids, within the overall landscape design. 

The shrubs will undoubtedly help the plot maintain year-round interest. But I want to do more, something a bit outside the box. I was inspired by my new dedication to creating balance and harmony in my life. The above photo from Friendship Park in Cincinnati shows a circular path made of stones. The below image from my summer trip to Seattle features a cairn. What I plan for A Few of My Favorite Things is to incorporate a small, stone, circular path that leads to a cairn. In the summer much of this stone element will be obstructed by plants, but in the early spring and winter, the stones will be quite prominent.

I hope the addition will add a reflective atmosphere to my tiny plot. 

12/27/2011

Another Year in the Park

I remember the day as if it was yesterday. I was driving to work (my old job), trying desperately to get myself motivated and excited about the day to come. I was failing miserably. What I wanted to think about was gardening and my time at Ault Park. That’s when I hatched an idea: What if I went to the park each day for one year and wrote about what I saw and my work in the gardens for a blog on Ault Park? 

That was over a year ago- I already lost track of time. I was a bit naive and over excited about the project to think I would make it to the park each day. This little thing called life kept getting in the way; work, laundry, grocery shopping and cooking. Nonetheless, I did find myself at the park quite a bit, often several times a week. I started by adopting one garden, which led to three and an unofficial plot and recently assisting with a raised rock garden that needs rejuvenation.     

I can not image a time when I will not garden at the park, take photos and talk to park goers.  I will head up the adopt-a-plots in 2012. I am very excited about this honor and hope my hard work and enthusiasm will translate to a wonderful year for the gardens and the gardeners who have adopted plots in the park.

So, A Year in the Park is now Another Year in the Park. There is much  more work to be done, more gardens to tend to and photos to share.  I hope you will join me in 2012.