Garden 3.0

The arrival of spring-like weather has caused a flurry of garden updates on Facebook and Twitter. I've been too busy to think about gardening but now that March is pretty much over maybe it's time. I've broken my garden down into five zones, which is kind of amazing given that the total size is roughly equal to a queen size bed. Zone 1 is a circle of dirt around the tree on my hell-strip. There are pale yellow wildflowers that come up every year (they may be weeds but I think they're pretty) and I usually throw some flower seeds down to fill in some color and variety. I don't have any changes planned for Zone 1. Zone 2 is the smaller section of my lawn. It's dominated by the large green shrub, but last year I added some ornamental grass and a smaller, colorful shrub. The grass will probably spread like wildfire, and whatever the small shrub does will be fine with me. No changesfor Zone 2 either, other than more attention than it has gotten in years past. Zone 3 is the largest zone... the L-shaped border that runs from the sidewalk to and along my front porch. I tried making an ivy sculpture last year and it looked "ok" but took up too much precious real estate and threw off the balance, both of which are easy to do in such a small space. My plan for this year is to trim all the ivy back and focus on filling in bare areas with ground cover, especially things like bugleweed that have interesting foliage and color. Zone 4 is the small collection of potted plants I put on the stairs. I finally figured out that it's smart to spend the money for one large foliage plant rather than a bunch of smaller (cheaper) flower plants that will invariably die after a few weeks no matter how carefully I tend them. Zone 5 is the window box, and that's where the real year to year changes occur. My tendency with Zone 5 is to get distracted by price, getting cheap plants and not enough of them, when this is the one area where I really have to splurge. No geraniums. No petunias. I want a riot of color, and I want it to be BIG.

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