Gardening Without Intention


“Analysis Paralysis” strikes as many gardeners as it does IT workers. Caught between big plans and no clear direction, frequently nothing at all happens. I’m as guilty as anyone, and moving to a new house/garden brings on a strong relapse. What colors do I want here? How will I use it?  But sometimes… wonderful things happen by tossing carefully laid plans out the window and having no vision of the outcome whatsoever.

When I packed up the old garden for moving, a bunch of unmarked and unknown bulbs went into a paper bag out of expediency (they were lucky to stay out of the compost bin!)  Last fall, faced with fast approaching winter, no memory of what these bulbs were or what color I decided to just plant them in the woodland in areas where I didn’t think I was likely to build or put anything for quite awhile and just see what happened. If they didn’t survive, no big deal. If they did and were a rainbow of colors, well they weren’t going to spoil any emerging schemes by the house.

And now, in March, the rewards are small treasures surprising visitors on a random path through the woods, sparkling with scent and color among vibrant moss. I couldn’t have made this much magic if I’d tried. I’m so glad I didn’t.