MOSS, FERNS, COMPOSED GARDENS AND FOUND GARDENS

Oh man, as if there is not enough to do already.  A friend who has an amazing city garden of about an acre, at a party last weekend where we did not have enough time to talk, said one thing to me:  MOSS.

We will talk later, he said.  It never happened.   At no party can we unpack his knowledge.

I know what he means.  And which moss he means.  We have two types.

1-moss one

The moss above sits on the floor of the woods in little spheres, almost.  You could string them like popcorn and wrap them around your Christmas tree (not a bad idea!).  It does not strike me that this is the moss my gardener friend is talking about.

1-moss two

This example is what he wants me to use.  And would that be where it is now situated?  That area is really in the woods and not on my canvas.  It is growing where it wants to grow.  Where it cannot grow, it does not grow.  This makes me so tired to think about.  Would a good gardener then try to integrate “planned” gardens and the woods around them?  To be sure, the woods offers a lot of stuff.

1-ferns

These sweet little textural ferns are climbing up an oak near moss, and a dried up creek bed which has run only once sine 1997 when we bought the place.

This leads me to think about what gardens are for, and what they do.  It leads me to wonder about where the boundaries of these compositions exist, and what about trying to “correct” or outcompose nature?  Can that be done?  Is not the composition of a garden to imitate nature at its best?  Or is that the “old” gardening directive?  What about topiary?

topiary 1

topiary 2

topiary 3

Gardens around houses soothe the former’s harsh lines.  They also can pull your eye out from the mass of the house and transition into the relief of the lawn.  You can plan gardens so that you can experience fabulous smells when you enter and exit the house.  Herbs can be by the kitchen to be efficient.

None of the topiary examples above will do these things in a normal garden composition.  But what strong statements these are as they remake a natural thing!  They are real and surreal at the same time.  You have the choice as a gardener:  you can be a realist or a surrealist, or do dada.  It is all art.

Dammit.  Nothing is easy.  One cannot just BE a gardener.  One has to decide the style.  One has to edit.  Include/exclude.  And this discussion is just about flora.  What about fauna?

1-yoshino cherry

This little Yoshina cherry is a decade old.  This spring, after reinforcing the tee-pee around it with movable elements and spears rising from the ground, I finally have leaves.  So the existence of deer fosters compositional needs as well.   *sigh*

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