A delight, or a mess?

Undoubtedly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And no question, the beauty of the garden surrounding the koi pond is a matter of taste. But, does it matter if anyone besides the gardener is less than enamored by such a jumble? I cannot quite claim that I created this lovely mess, at least not all of it, though it was inattention that allowed a seedling beautyberry (Callicarpa) to climb high into branches of an ‘Okame’ cherry that overhangs the large pond. A yellow passionflower vine (Passiflora lutea) climbs still higher, as intended, and somehow I am fonder the wilder this scene becomes.

irises, Oakleaf and lacecap hydrangeas, a Japanese maple (barely seen on the right), winter jasmine, and edgeworthia edge this section of the koi pond. An Okame cherry has grown to overhang the pond’s edge, with a seedling beautyberry using the cherry’s branches to support the climb far above its typical height. A yellow flowered passionflower (not in bloom yet) climbs far up into the cherry’s branches, as intended, though the small flowers are difficult to see at such a distance.

It was my intention to promote a naturalized garden surrounding the pond, so I take some credit that native Joe Pye weeds (Eutrochium purpureum) were allowed to grow into the shallows. Some editing occurs. Japanese stilt grass invaded the pond’s margins a year ago, and though I cannot claim a relentless effort to remove it, my occasional tugging and increased shading by Joe Pye and irises (yellow flag and Japanese irises) seems to have accomplished its removal.

The shallow filtration area of the pond is chock full of pickerelweed, yellow flag irises, and variegated and green cattails. Water lilies have been pushed to the edge.

I know, certainly, that my wife does not share my joy for this untamed area. She prefers more order, which she is able to enforce by chopping branches that stray over the garden’s paths, but this wildness is far beyond her capabilities to manage with her pruners. And, with uncountable koi from newborns to old timers, and plenty of crannies between stones at the pond’s edge for shelter, this has become a haven for water snakes. Not her favorite, so she’ll steer clear when the time comes to cut back vegetation that surrounds the pond.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Perhaps a delightful mess?

    1. Dave says:

      If the beautyberry was a less ornamental seedling I’m certain I would have chopped it out, so while this addition is accidental it is not completely by accident. There are many plants in the garden close enough that branches intertwine, and this is the style I prefer.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        Not to change the subject, but if I ever get around to growing a beautyberry, I think I would prefer a seedling, like what grows in the wild. I know they are nothing special there, but I have never seen one here.

  2. Mary Barker says:

    What a beautiful sight! Although I am more of a “tidy gardener”, I can sure appreciate what you (& mother nature) have accomplished!
    This is the first year I have some “untamed” areas and I’m actually learning to enjoy them!
    Thanks for sharing your “works of art”!

    1. Dave says:

      There is no part of this garden that is tidy, by design. Many seedlings and sporelings are encouraged, but with more editing than the area behind the koi pond.

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