When Zinnias start blooming on and on
We’ll know that summer is here for sure
The flowers will bloom, the gardeners will smile
The bees they will be all about
And we’ll all be happy when Zinnias start blooming on and on.
Look at that nice straight row of Zinnias. Have you ever seen such precision planting?
That’s why a march like “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” came to mind when I looked at those Zinnias. Feel free to sing the words above to that tune as you gaze upon that nice straight row.
For some reason, as I’ve noted before, I often find myself planting in straight rows. It’s not like I use a yardstick to make the rows straight… wait, check that, I have used a yardstick to make my rows straight. But usually just in the vegetable garden where nice, straight rows make it easier to harvest some vegetables like beans and lettuce.
Yet, in some of my flower beds, you might look at the plant placement and think that to decide where to put a plant, I turned my back to the flower bed, tossed a trowel over my shoulder, and then planted wherever the trowel landed.
Figuring out the right placement for a plant in the garden is both an art and a science.
The ‘science’ part is picking a location with the right amount of sunlight or shade, appropriate drainage, the right soil type, and room for the plant to grow, both horizontally and vertically.
The ‘art’ part is picking a location that is part of an overall planting design, that allows the plant to play off other plants in that garden bed, to be showy when it is in bloom, but then blend into the background when other plants are blooming.
I’m still figuring out plant placement, not so much the science part, but the art part. I try to avoid straight lines, but it takes some work on my part. And sometimes a few months after I plant something, it just looks wrong, so I move it. And we know moving plants multiple times doesn't help them grow.
I think I should find a basic landscape design class for gardeners and sign up or find a good book on garden design and study it. Any suggestions? Maybe a garden design book would be a good selection for the Garden Bloggers' Book Club?
I did read in the local paper about some gardens in northern Indiana that have lots of straight lines. Local gardeners there planted several flower beds to resemble quilt squares. I ought to drive up to northern Indiana and see those quilts.
Or, maybe I can give in to my straight-line planting ways by planting a knot garden in my backyard, something like these gardens at White River Gardens?