Trusting that my fellow gardeners are never shy to give opinion when asked, I’m coming to you for some input on a challenge I’m currently facing in my own garden. Let me set the stage for you. The piece of land on which I garden was basically empty when I began, except for one maple tree. I have created, renovated, and nurtured it, and I’ve experienced joy, pain, frustration, and a slew of other emotions in it. There were years where I could not get enough of gardening: Every moment I was infused with ideas, new plant combinations I wanted to try, etc.
But within the past four years, my garden has gone stale. It started when my mother became very ill and I just wasn’t able to tend to it the way I wanted to. I knew at that time in my life the garden would be kind to me and allow me a respite. But even after my mother’s death, I was never able to renew the passion I had so strongly felt. Another factor may be that I am planning to sell my home within the next year and no longer want to put more of myself into the garden. I know it will be difficult for me to leave this garden but at the same time, I am ready to create a new garden for myself.
Even with all of that, I am contemplating renovating my top island bed garden, or possibly dismantling much of it, this fall, because it has become terribly overgrown. Rather than sticking to the island bed layout and re-designing with new plant material, my gut tells me that it’s time to throw restraint to the wind and go all out with planting a naturalized garden/meadow on the entire top level, taking out all pathways except for narrow ones that would allow one to meander through or weed when necessary.
Has anyone else out there gone through a “blue” period of gardening, where you just haven’t been able to motivate yourself into a creative, expansive mindset when gardening? If so, how have you handled it? And has this mood passed?
And finally, do you think I should stick with the basic island layout as shown in these pictures, and just dismantle and replant with some wonderful perennial and deciduous shrubs? Or, do you think I should have a last hurrah with this top garden area and go for the meadow/naturalized perennial look?