This is a meme from Kim over at A Study in Contrasts; what things do you like in a garden but wouldn’t have in your own?
Here are the “rules”: Think about 5 (or 10, or 3, or however many come to mind) things that you really like but would never put into your own yard. Make a post that explains each thing and also tells why, much as you like each one, it will never appear in your garden.
• Koi ponds. The raccoons and miscellaneous raptors would have a field day.
• Cordyline. Okay, I don’t really like them in anyone’s gardens.
• I really like rose arbors and pergolas, particularly with the climbing rose Cecile Brunner, but sitting underneath them – isn’t there always a bistro table with a tea pot and crustless sandwiches underneath? – is just creepy. Things drop out of the roses and down your shirt, make tiny webs in your tea strainer, buzz you just as you’re dropping off to sleep. Yes I love insects, but I don’t want them in my mouth or down my pants.
• Need I even mention or explain: undignified statuary.
• Cottage gardens. They can be beautifully executed, but not by gardeners such as myself. One day I’ll tell you about the time I installed a butterfly friendly cottage garden for a client and the first generation butterfly larvae mowed it to the ground in a weekend.
• Prunus laurocerasus. I love that it draws bees and sometimes, it’s even slightly attractive. Usually, it’s redundant, neglected, and fugly.
• Kniphofia. Now, normally I am a friend to plants that hail from South Africa. Torch Lily looks like Beeker from the Muppets to me, and I can’t fathom the appeal of its slap-dash goofiness.
• Vinca. Love it! Don’t want to chase it.
• Windchimes. Sometimes people will choose just the right chime for their yard: the style matches their home and landscape, the tone complements the whole feel of their garden. I had a windchine too, but every time it tolled I cringed, waiting for the neighbors to yell at me. I grew up in tight city quarters where windchimes started feuds and were subject to vandalism. I can’t quite enjoy them.
• Lawn. Other people do it well and I want to shed my shoes and go scooting across their temples of turf. At home, I could care less about the grass, and sadly, it shows.
• Annuals. I don’t know why exactly; they seem disposable or too temporary to throw money at year after year. I’d rather collect perennials.
• Yellow foliage or varigated green and yellow foliage. It screams chlorosis to me, even when I know better.
• Perfection. Ever since I got involved in entomology, I’ve lost interest in arthropod genocide. I certainly appreciate pristine roses, I just don’t grow any that could be described that way.
Goodness. I have a few garden rules.