Jardin De Refuse For A Rented Garden Becoming Wabi-Sabi

A garden like this is a rough sketch, a thing becoming, a thing of chaos and order, spirit and shadow in the changing light, as well as changing goals, and changing up a few dreams.

Being rented, just because it happens to be out my door, I never know absolutely 100% if I will be here next spring, next season. I definitely want to be, oh I do want to be here for a long time, but still, I am realistic – I do not own it, I have no say. Now, I am lucky though that I have a good landlord, and of course a well cared for landscape does add value to the property.

So, I put things in pots that will winter over inside, such as the Swedish Ivy’s, the dwarf papyrus, even the begonias can be brought inside. Also, anything, such as some Hostas that are hardy to zone 2 (I am in zone 6), can be left in pots outside and will usually live out the winter. And, well, I just have learned to let go of, as much as I can, let go of the ownership of it, appreciate it for the gifts I get from it now, today, and tomorrow is not written.

NEW from Tuckey’s this year ⇝ ‘June’ Hosta in container being engulfed almost by ol’ Virginia the Creeper.

But every year I bring something new and perennial into the fold, just because, to be completely honest because I can’t help myself. If I were to walk down to Tuckey’s Home Hardware today to buy one of the do-hicky chain thingies I need to make the toilet flush, I will find myself instead in the garden centre with more plants than I can carry (or at least that would be the case if I bothered to fix the do-hicky chain thingy, and also why the do-hicky chain thingy is not yet fixed, cause see I am what you could call, em, obsessed, occasionally, sometimes, anywho).

Now, for a garden to mature from a space to put pretty flowers to a destination, a meander, a spot to be, you have to understand first what the space needs, not just what you want. In time, I suppose you become more its keeper, its friend, its devoted apostle.

In the beginning, in the first two years I was here I had the notion to somehow recreate the magical mystical garden I had at the cottage, back at Irish Lake. The hobbitesque whole front part I did myself, and it was enchanting.

I swear I saw faeries about, the fey ones, the hidden ones.

the front garden - irish lake, grey county, ontario, canada - thetemenosjournal.com

So that’s what I wanted here, and that is the kind of things I bought, variegated this and that and any of the style and feel of that cottage garden shady nook sort of look I do like.

Over the years though, due to various things, like Irish peeing in the one spot that I had loved and couldn’t figure out why everything was dying, for instance. Adjust adjust, limitations, and so I had to rethink what I wanted (and I also moved her lead thing back a foot, so she couldn’t reach her bum that far, arsehole).

Gradually, and as I came to love Golden Creeping Jenny, and saw on various Pinterest posts what it could do, I began to collect more, and poke this bit in, and transplant that bit, and all along the edge of this side of the house, I envision it in a sweep of gold turning to chartreuse from the sun to the shade as it makes its way around the side of the house, and reaches my stoop – it’s almost there.

‘Variegated’ Euonymus fortunei  with the Creeping Jenny and Hosta’s. The Euonymus is hopefully going to creep up and over that half dead Emerald Cedar…you know…hope springs eternal, but I really am not sure if the Cedar will make it. If it does, I guess it will be a very interesting combination.
‘Rainbow’ Coleus with some of that Creeping Jenny poked in the other day, with remnants of the Lily of the Valley. Also in the right is some Miscanthus grass, and of course those Plantaginea Hosta’s, and Tarragon in the back.

With it, I saw how it illuminated the different greens, from dark cedar green, to Kelly green, and that the calming, soothing soft wave of it, in this cool and shady spot, it had a Japanese garden feel.

So I thought, could I do both?

So last summer and this spring that has been my new inspiration – the garden has spoken.

In the back corner, to accommodate the dog and add an artificial feature in keeping with a Japanese feel I want to create, I’m creating a little mound. On the little mound I have some bits of Virginia Creeper I’ve stuck in the ground to root, and encouraged some more to grow and ramble up and over. I ripped the mint from the front and planted it along the found wooden thing I put up along the hedgerow, and will see, will see.

In time, I see a path, or at least that’s what I’d like, will have to see what the shnoggin doggin thinks of the plan.

This mound will be partially formed – well already is – of poo from the winter months when I’m a lazy piece of poo poo myself and don’t walk her, or not enough. So in the early spring I rake it all over in that corner, now that the old wagon contraption is gone.

Oh, yes, that’s another thing, the old wagon wheel base the last tenant left did also contribute to my previous ideas, and limited what I could do.

Now with that whole area opened, after someone came with some dream of putting it back together, and good luck to them. So it is gone and thus I have that space back. Irish too. I’m trying to get her to see it my way, that this area is HERs and THIS area is MINE.

It’s a work in progress, on the way to becoming.

Irish likes to pee here just beside my container garden spot, so anything in the ground just gets knocked about in this spot, so, a rockery it is.

Lots of stories in those rocks, from here and there, broken bits of old clay pots I found around, and the broken dreams stepping stone that wasn’t a stepping stone is in there, disintegrating. Even have a piece of the bottom of a broken brown Betty tea pot in the mix, just for kicks.

On the mound I have piled sticks, and debris, and in a way it has become a sort of jardin de refuse – an idea I picked up from my garden guru, Marjorie Harris – which is a spot for, well, I suppose for poo and plants that don’t go, you just build it as you go, let it be what it will be.

L – R – clockwise round – starting with the Ostrich Fern, Heuchera ‘Carnival Peach Parfait’, Golden Creeping Jenny, ‘Brilliance Autumn Fern’ Dryopteris erythrosora, Athyrium ‘Ocean’s Fury’ Crested Painted Fern.

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