Two minds

Placing the new bed - step one: big anchorsGail and I have been thinking about the big new bed in the Display Garden at least since last year. Last year’s Idea Beds - where the new bed is nowWe shifted all of the keepers out of the Idea Beds last fall to make way for the new bed and then waited (im)patiently for the guys to dig it all up, re-grade, re-sod, place pavers and decorate.

the new Display Garden fountain - not going anywhere!(Check out Fred’s new fountain! – the guys made it from recycled greenhouse gutters and a parking lot stone that the caterers kept crashing into.) All the while we kept our eyes glued to the size and shape of the new bed and tried to form some how-should-we-plant-it-? ideas in our heads.

I think Gail and I have different methods for idea making but what I realized again (I realize this every year when we plan and place the gardens) was that we are amazingly in tune with each other and what we want the gardens to look like. a quick sketch of thoughts - mostly disregarded as I started to place!Gail has memorized all of the plants we grow and makes copious lists of them on random sheets of paper and in notepads. We talk about themes and schemes – for instance, one bed this year will be heavy on green and pink flowers; others are cottage-potage garden mixes. Gail organizes the plants in the greenhouse by color and then by garden and meanwhile forms a mental image. I on the other hand am not particularly organized and if I’m not looking directly at a plant, I’ll pretty much have forgotten what it looks like. I can form hazy mental pictures of colors and textures but really need to “see” what I’m thinking. I got out Gail’s lists and my tiny tin of watercolors and tried to capture my vague fog of thought but it wasn’t until I actually went out this morning (while I was still fresh and well caffeinated) and started “plunking” that I could begin to see what the bed was going to grow up to be.

Gail takes in the placement from all sidesTara Morris happily planted in a Phormium hole

After Gail came to work and said “Yup – that looks good!” and Tara approved the holes, we got right down to planting. It’s only a start but the bed I have been calling “the big empty” suddenly today needs a new name! How do you come up with the design for your beds and gardens? Do you ever work with a partner?

The new start for the new bed

5 thoughts on “Two minds

  1. Okay, I covet that fountain. Your guys are so creative and handy! I make lists constantly, driving my husband crazy. I also have started taking photos of the plants I want to consider and reference them as I plot in my head. After sunset at my computer is usually my most creative time. For instance, I made a list of all of the herbs I had to plant, grouped them together and took a photo, and then thought about the containers in which I would be planting them. 2 days later, I went outside and grouped the plants together as I had envisioned them, checked that it all worked, and then planted. I think it worked out pretty well, but my husband would say I spent way too much time thinking about it. I say that’s half the fun.

    Heather – I agree. I think gardening is really more about the process than the result! -kris

  2. That fountain really is creative. I love the solidity and different textures. Industrial chic!

    Totally! And yet it fits right in here… -kris

  3. I love seeing this garden coming together! I think Fred could start a business with eclectic garden pieces and make a fortune! Love the new fountain and, you are right, not going anywhere made me laugh!

    I wonder if Fred is taking orders yet?… I want one too! -kris

  4. Count me in… I think Fred should freelance with the cool garden fountains/artwork! I would totally have that in my garden. And I don’t say that much about artwork or fountains.

    To answer your question, my former husband had veto power on things like where the beds should go and how big they could be (although admittedly, my “6 feet from the house” promise would turn into 8, easy, without him realizing what was going on) but otherwise didn’t even care to have much input. My live-in boyfriend, on the other hand, has Opinions. And I’m not always sure what I think about that! It might have been easier the other way… :)

    Kim, I think I would take debatable Opinions over vetos any day! But how does your BF feel about girl-y pinks and pastels in the garden – I know they’re not YOUR favorite… -kris

  5. My beds get stared at–a lot–usually around mid-morning and early evening. I’ll often just stand, staring or pacing back and forth, mentally plunking in plants and tearing others out. I like to keep it conceptual and I’m very visually minded so this isn’t very difficult for me. This mental shuffling can go on for days, well, really the whole season. I would put ideas down on paper, but the gardening season is so short, I rarely have time.

    Susan – that sounds a lot like how I go at my garden at home! I sit and stare and pace and stare – my neighbors must think I’m loopy (I think they wonder why I’m not spending my time productively keeping up with the hedge trimming or grass cutting like they are…) and most of my plants at home exist only in my head so far. -kris

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