Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Tuesday, June 09, 2020

The gardens of a landscaper combined with a weed caretaker

There really is no flower called a 'weed'. A weed is simply a category to lump a whole bunch of beautiful natural growing specimens into a negative label.

When I got together with Martyn, I had started my garden on my own in Portland. He lived next door, we met and began seeing each other, but more than that we began the first of our three gardens. Each one is better than the next, each one I've cried when we had to leave but then the next garden is born and I wouldn't go back to the last one if I had to leave the present one.

Back to weeds. When we started our combined gardens, I learned a lot from Martyn. He is after all a horticulturist by education, and had landscaped professionally since he was a young guy. There were so many new plants to grow in Oregon, versus my homeland of Minnesota where I had left to live in Portland. MArtyn would spurt out the Latin names. He still does this. I found it endearing then and still do.

We had to learn to mix our gardening styles. I like prarie free flowing gardens. I don't like things lined up in rows and then little plants in the front. And I love to add in what most consider weeds-buttercup in spring, Queen Anne's LAce mixed in everywhere, and clover. I introduced a really beautiful buckwhaet this year by mistake-oh the color! But I pulled it, knowing it would take over.

Martyn has learned to leave my weeds, or make 'suggestions'. He knows he must never, ever touch my Queen Anne's Lace. He has even become fond of my knack for growing clover as it is so lovely right now, but I've learned to pull it earlier than I use too.

Martyn is pretty much in control of the front gardens, except for my hollyhock grove and coneflower area. He does whatever he wants in his garden and I don't interfere, I just admire it and ask questions. About this time of June he can get a bit bossy about my weeds. Yesterday I found him in my weediest area, laced with clover and Queen Anne's Lace, and he was pulling stuff from the ground. Not so fast Charlie. In fairness, it was a heavy rooted grass, so I forgave him.

Everything is popping, each day something changes. We noticed last night how the little daisies -all planted from seeds and transplants from the fields- are so sweet and pretty even though they have not quite opened becasue they look like little white lights at dusk. The peonies -oh I can't wait, salivating to see them.

Having a garden together is probably one of the most fun things we do as a team, and enjoyable. We never consider it work. It rewards us in so many ways.

1 comment:

Lin said...

Your gardens are lovely...and the backdrop, even more so. We do what we can in suburban Chicago with cookie-cutter houses. *sigh* I love to putter in the garden, moving this plant or that....trying new things from the garden center each spring. I am sorry for whoever buys this house when we leave one day. It's lovely...but some work.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~