Music to my eyes

Son of a son of a son of a son of a - son of a son of a sailor.  (ding ding)Sometimes when I’m doing something tedious like watering I’ll get a random song on repeat in my head – usually a catchy ditty that I can’t stand and can’t tune out and I never know all the words so I can’t cut the loop. I am plagued by ear worms! But today I saw music while I was watering and wasn’t irritated by it at all.

It occurred to me that planting a garden is a bit like making a mix-tape. (– I mean cd – I’ve just dated myself, haven’t I? I am a good deal older than 26…) We gardeners take a bunch of different plants that we love to look at (or smell or pick or eat) and place them all together where we can thoroughly enjoy them. Sometimes we put together visual medleys within a genre – like a particular color scheme or food group and sometimes we go a little wild and mix country with punk. And just like with a mix-tape, in a garden there can be jarring clunkers that don’t quite fit along with seamless and surprisingly perfect segues. Here are some of my favorite mixes: (mouse over for names/captions and click on for magic picture enlarger.)

a circus mix of echinacea, eryngium, monarda and rudbeckiaalt rock Phormium and plectranthus fruticosaCabbage on bass and eryngium snare drumdulcet greens:  nicotianas and Caryopteris divaricatus ‘Snow Fairy’LOUD!  Celosia ‘China Town’ and Phlox drummondii ‘Scarlet’folk singers:  Senecio viravira and Zinnia ‘Profusion Apricot’A mix I could listen to - I mean look at - over and over again

What are your favorite mixes? If you have pictures, please send a link! I promise to also show the clashes and clunkers (yes, we have some dissonance) in a later post… You too?

6 thoughts on “Music to my eyes

  1. What a lovely and cute post idea! I mix a little bit of everything. In my garden, the tropicals would definitely be punk or rock. I mix a lot of those in with the traditional. Are antique roses then classical?~~dee

    Dee, I think some antique roses are Gregorian Chant. Others are Mozart for sure! (this is too much fun) -kris

  2. I’ve got a real clash/clunker in my latest post. Soft pink flowering sedum and liatris flowering right next to a very bold and bright clump of yellow and red gaillardia. They’re all so happy there and growing so well that I hate to move any of them, so for now I’m living with the clash.

    Amy, Color-wise, your combo totally works for me (but then I never match my socks to my shirt and think orange goes with everything). I also love that they are happy in a garden bed that you never water! Maybe you could add a horn section to that trio or some backup singers to carry the tune… Am I going too far with this metaphor? -kris

  3. I really like that last number too. Engaging and soothing—just like good music. I’ve never thought about my garden in those terms, so this was fun.

    Pam, My thoughts do run away with me while I’m watering – glad you liked where they went! -kris

  4. your caption writing ability is second to none. you should come up with band names in bulk and sell them to young kids that can’t come up with any sweet names of their own. today i was all about grunge rock… pruning underneath the holly and may flowering viburnum. i also got into some folk rock jam action while “dead heading” the laurel. the next bloom is TOTALLY gonna rock! garage bands are for tools. (insert dorky laugh).

    Thigh slap PLUS snorthonk ! -kris

  5. I LOVE this post! (And Brendan’s comment, too–very fun.) I found myself grooving to the phormium/plectranthus combination, and then realized that you had labeled it “Alt Rock”… that fits both the combo and me. *grin*

    By the way, you just dated yourself to be… about the same age as I am. lol. We used to make multiple mix tapes for people, and sometimes would send them to our college friends while we were all apart over the summer. And of course you had to hand-decorate the paper cassette liner–just writing down the songs was not quite enough!

    Too funny, Kim! I think this blog must be my cassette liner… -kris

  6. Great pictures and post Kris. I love the cabbage with the echinops and that caption was so apt! It is raining and I hope you didn’t see a tornado as Bristol was mentioned on the news!

    Thanks, Layanee! Plenty of rain – over an inch here yesterday and another drenching as I write – but no tornadoes (knock wood) at Blithewold. -kris

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