Saturday, November 2, 2013

Mingling and mapping and autumn days

It feels a long time ago now (mid 90s) that I decided that the crucial issue in the planting design as an aesthetic issue was about mixing plants and getting away from block planting. The discussion is now very much  a live on, and Thomas Rainer has now pitched in with a piece in Thinking Gardens - to which I've made a response. You can read them both here.

Meanwhile back at the ranch autumn is setting in, in the slow backwards and forwards way that autumn does in these parts. Yellowing and falling alongside still vigorous blooming. Time for a growth assessment. I have some trial plots and other borders which I (rather irregularly) map to keep an eye on plant progress (or lack of it). Last week we had some colleagues come for a day workshop in the garden (two National Trust gardeners, a landscape architect, a garden designer and sky-diver trainer retraining as a garden designer). I got them all doing the evaluations on my research plots and doing some mapping of borders, all very basic plant ecology data collecting but almost never done in gardens. We had a good day amd everyone seemed to feel it was worthwhile. Perhaps I should make it a regular event.

This is a topological plan on an spreadsheet of the main border planting

Mapping a border using one metre squares. This one has a lot of filling up to do.
Autumn is such a great opportunity to get children looking at nature.

Saxifraga fortunei Sugar Plum Fairy - these late woodland Saxifrages are so good at the very end of the season, I see a great future for them.


Tony Spencer said...

Hullo Noel,

Really only you could have made such a forceful and eloquent response to Rainer Thomas's opening salvo.

Still, after reading the comments, I'm reminded of the tale of the elephant and the blind men. Many seem to grasp one part of the thread, oblivious to the whole.

I've noticed that every time, the topic comes up for public discourse, a thousand new sub-theories are born.

This pattern of growth feels awfully familiar in a clonal kind of way?

Let's call it... 'Mintermingling' and see where it goes!

Roger Brook - No Dig Gardener said...

I do not come to the subject of mingling through deliberate design in planting but just through gardening for sixty years!
I love the way plants self seed and spread themselves and also the happy accidents when I accidentally plant one thing on top of another. I recently took a picture for a post I am writing on self seeding and took a picture of a square metre patch of my garden and found to my surprise that seven of the plants had put themselves there themselves!
My partner Brenda says that I mingle mangle!

Unknown said...

Hvilken vidunderlig frodighed med stauder og græsser!