A couple of years ago, we took the last of the blinders off our driveway. How did we come to blind our driveway in the first place? Well, that goes way back to the early years of living in our little white house.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I really fell in love with the whole idea of English cottage gardening. And what more quintessential cottage gardening plant than roses?
I went, as the saying goes, hog-wild.
Mind you, I wanted roses, but not just any roses. I wanted own-root (as opposed to grafted) roses. And I wasn’t about to just pick from whatever the local garden center had, either.
Nope. I had very specific cultivars in mind.
So, in a short time, I had a fleet of alba, bourbon, and rugosa roses on their way to me from Canada, Maine, California, and Texas, along with a few modern hybrids thrown in for good measure. I even paid to have one particular variety custom-rooted for me, since at the time, I was unable to find it by any other means. (That was ‘Fritz Nobis’ – and a very handsome boy he was, I must say.)
When they arrived, I happily tucked them into their new homes, where they thrived quite beautifully. So, what on earth could be the problem?
Well, I envisioned a sort of spinney of roses by the front walkway. So I planted six or seven alba roses there. Alba roses which were going to mature at about four to six feet tall and wide. Each.
Might it shock you to hear that when I took an aptitude test many years ago, I scored dismally on spatial reasoning? (I did get a perfect score on abstract reasoning. Have to include the bright spot, you know! LOL)
Naturally, I thought the finishing touch would be to plant a quince tree, which matures at about twelve feet high and wide, on the other side of the driveway. About eight feet away from the road’s edge. (The quince, still there in 2017, is what the arrow’s pointing to in the photo above.)
In retrospect, I did know on some level that both of these might prove to be a problem. Someday.
I guess I just thought it would all work out somehow.
In reality, it worked out about as well as you’d expect. (Wry grin.)
It was also about as much fun as you’d expect to chop a bunch of thorny plants down, cart their remains to the fire pit, and dig out their root balls. Worse, a lot of this labor fell to my husband and son. Eek!
When it came time to redesign, I played it safe. I literally drove my car up and down the driveway, stopping at multiple points along the way, while my son held up various sized pieces of cardboard. (The neighbors probably wondered what on earth we were up to, but that’s another story.)
I wanted to figure out exactly how low I needed to keep the garden so as not to obstruct visibility. And I needed to know how large that low-growing section had to be.
I was driving a low-to-the-ground sedan at the time, so my results could be different today. But at the time, the maximum height was twelve inches. Knowing that, I was in a position to choose plants wisely.
I went with wild strawberries (Fragaria virginiana) and purple love grass (Eragrostis spectabilis). Both are drought-tolerant and tough-as-nails. They’ve thrived in that southern exposure. And you should smell those strawberries when the sun is beating down on the fruits. Heaven!
Now, you might be way smarter than me when it comes to spatial stuff like that. But please tell this sheepish fox that she’s not the only one who’s ever lost her tail. 😊
Has anything like that ever happened to you?
NOTE: There’ll be no blog post this coming Monday, as it’s Memorial Day here in the States. But I’ll be back with the regularly scheduled post on Wednesday. 💜