Without an easy way to identify where things are, I find it gets confusing when I want to make a note to myself on where I need to do some work. And photos need consistent labels in my photo editor.
Without names, it gets silly when I want to tell Jim where I need a photo taken.
Can you get a shot of the viburnum for me? It's looking so nice now.
Sure, where is it?
It's out back. You know, the wide shrub out there. The one in front of the higher part of the back area, it's behind the middle garden but in the front of the back part of that long garden. In back.
It's much easier to say It's the shrub on the west end of Meadow's Edge.
Meadow's Edge is the big garden space that backs up to the untended meadow. That's easy.
The Birch Garden is a raised round bed surrounded by white birches.
But there is an art to naming gardens. They should have memorable names, not just a location or a specific anchor plant. "Front Garden" or "West Walkway"? Yawn. Those are spaces I have labored over and invested a lot of my creative energy in. You wouldn't know that by what I call them.
I want a name that evokes the experience of that garden, not just where it sits on the property.
The north garden is a small foundation planting hugging a corner of the house that is, well . . . on the north side.
The sign in this small area points to where our adult children now live. Jim made it, but misspelled Massachusetts, so I have to hide the error with strategically placed foliage. Surely he would know what garden space I mean if I mention the Blooper Patch.
When I walk past the narrow strip of plants along the front walk, I always think of the year the voles ate everything, absolutely everything, and the entire garden had to be replanted. It was traumatic but rewarding, as I am still tinkering with the aftereffects of their damage.
I call it the front garden but I think of it as The Vole's Rampage. I should rename it that. After all my laments about what happened in that area, Jim would know instantly what I was referring to.
In the pea gravel sitting area there is an oblong rounded rock that is gray and shaped like a whale's body surfing the gravel sea, its tail about to flip the nasturtiums over.
That rock was placed there the winter we went to Maui and saw humpback whales cavorting in the bay-- a truly memorable sight. Each time I sit in the area that I call the gravel garden I see that rock and think of warm Hawaiian breezes, those astonishing whales, and the good friends we shared that experience with. I should rename this The Humpback Garden. It brings me such memories.
Coming up with what to call a garden forces me to identify what is unique and interesting about it. Why I created it. What makes it distinctive. Or what I feel or remember when I am in it.
I need to think of new names for all the other areas, and I might do that. Then I'll need to relabel all the photos of those gardens in my photo editor. Thank god for "batch change".
I'll need to get Jim used to it all so he knows what I mean when I ask him to haul those bags of mulch to The Serenity Walk --- named that because, for some reason, every time I walk down this path I relax.