Late this spring Mark and I were sitting on our new porch, enjoying the view. I'm building a border bracketing the southwest corner of our yard, and it had become apparent to me that I had erred in placing two sets of plants.
We planted, several years ago, some maple seedlings we gleaned off an empty lot in Detriot. That year we also picked up a Star Magnolia. The trees went in the ground, across the south line of the property. In time, they will give us lovely cool shade in the summer months. The Magnolia lived in a pot on the patio for a while.
Then two years ago, Mark brought home slew of shrubs that had gone on sale at the nursery. Burning Bush, High Bush Cranberry, Buddleia, Deutzia, and Miss Kim Lilac. I planted these out around the trees, added the Magnolia to the border and they grew on for a year.
Come spring. The lilac is done blooming. The budlia is sprouting out madly. And they are obviously in the wrong places.
Sometimes it takes awhile to see these things. I didn't realize right away that what I thought was pot fatigue coloring the magnolia's leaves was really it's normal slightly acid color. I had underplanted it with the grey-blue foliaged buddleia. Not the kind of *stunning* I usually go for in my garden.
So there we are, sitting on the porch. I point out the color problem to Mark, saying something like: 'if only I had planted the lilacs there, instead. He made some sort of grunting noise and disappeared into the house, leaving me to sigh over my foibles on the porch.
But not for long, for shortly he returned, out at the border, shovel in hand.
I never give him enough credit, really.
So on one of the first hot, muggy days of our Michigan summer (which always arrives before the calendar) we were out there, chopping roots and moving established shrubs.
Now the magnolia is flanked by the lilacs, and the buddleia sit under one of the maples.
As I sat on the porch tonight, I watched the dusk settle out over the yard. The silver bark of the magnolia glows against the purple early autumn foliage of the lilacs.
Ah. Much better.
(That's a japanese anemone, Honorine Jobert, in the foreground.)