My quick hour or so visit to our focal garden in Ault Park brought up many interesting points about gardening, intermingled gardens and gardening in public spaces to share with you. I drove to the garden a bit fuzzy- many ideas for new gardens swirling about my mind. As soon as I shut the truck door and took in our garden at the park, all that was important came into focus.
I had a garden to tend- a clear task at hand.
Gardening in public spaces means running into acquaintances who enjoy the park and its gardens as much, perhaps even more than I do. A very talented photographer who often visits our garden was talking about the butterflies and moths she’s been able to capture with her camera. When you garden in public spaces, you make such discoveries possible. How we choose to plant our gardens impacts how others enjoy the public space.
My mom was there as well. She, along with my dad, tend to one of the adopt-a-plots. Their gardening in this public space has encouraged her to walk in the park nearly every day. Sometimes the park gives back more than we give to it.
As I was tending the garden, squeezing myself in between the echinacea, Rudbeckia Maxima and Russian sage, the sound of oh so many bees buzzing about was punctuated by the sound of humming birds darting in and out of the garden. I weeded, although some onlookers said the didn’t notice any weeds with all the flowers in bloom. That’s thanks to the intermingled garden!
The gardens are lush, and in most areas, should weeds sprout, you really have to look closely to see them. Another treat of such a garden is its unpredictability. Each section was planted identically years before and when new plants are added, I try to add the same quantity to each bed. However, the bee balm and sea holly have settled into one garden, the Russian Sage another and one bed always looks a bit behind the others. My knee jerk reaction was to add more of the plants that had disappeared into some beds. Then I caught myself. Nature is telling me what likes to grow where, not the other way around!