cra... cra... cra... / pagina quarta .21

Felice di aver piantato le anemoni e le altre piante nel giardino mi accorgo di una cosa: l'acqua?... Gia', nel mio disegno i fiori crescono per grazia di Dio, cosa d'altra parte vera (lo si chiami come si voglia), ma certo un aiuto per mano dell'uomo ne e' la via, come al solito. 

   Devo quindi pensare ad un impianto di irrigazione. Mi vengono i brividi che scorrono come i tubicini di plastica nera necessari alla sopravvivenza del giardino. Non ricordavo questa presenza dell'acqua da garantire costante. Il giardino era il "giardino di casa", apparteneva agli anni passati di liceo, viaggi, reportage, distanze, neve, impronte di gatto, calicanthus e raccourcis emotivi che, sedimentatisi insieme ai gusci di lumache ed un fico-mattoni-radici-altri mattoni ed ancora tempo e tempo, era diventato quello scrigno in cui, ogni volta che entravo, soltanto l'ilare sconfitta della malinconia giovanile poteva risolvere altrimenti rispetto al silenzioso sedersi sulla panchetta sgangherata a guardare dentro!

   "Scusami giardino, ma che vuoi, non potro' essere sempre li' ad innaffiarti, non potro' eppoi voi piante, voglio dire, dovreste imparare ad adattarvi come si legge sui libri, non e' che solo in suolo inglese potete show off... gia', facile essere star da manuale quando piove e c'e' il sole almeno quattro volte al giorno!"

   Ma si sa, giardinare (come direbbero in Inghilterra) impone la sua legge: "Se vuoi un giardino senza fatica, pavimentalo"... chiaro, mi pare. Quindi da ieri i tubicini da 6mm corrono un po' dappertutto: inganno di naturalita' addio e non c'e' sotterramento che tenga, so che sono li' sotto.

   A quel punto del pomeriggio pero', il patto con il tempo, necessario al giardiniere assente, al giardiniere pigro e a chi comunque al cemento preferisce le piante, e' diventato quel patto di assenza-presenza che ha spinto l'uomo ad affidarsi una volta di piu' al proprio ingegno, inventando un marchingegno magico, che a fine lavoro ha cancellato il mio lieve senso di disagio quando l'ho azionato. Incredibile il timer, la pompetta che si apre e si chiude! La pigrizia da lettura di istruzioni (un amico invece ama leggerle... ) unita alla sorpresa della scoperta, mi ha fatto giocare per una mezzora con l'unico pulsante presente, premendo con regolarita' il qualela costanza e affidabilita' delle risposte mi hanno svelato le sue funzioni. 

   ... L'acqua era ovunque e lo shady garden era diventato un bog garden: cra... cra... cra... tra le anemoni.

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"garden me" / A writing about a wished frontier for the natural gardening

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Ecological Planting Design

Ecological Planting Design

Drifts / Fillers (Matrix) / Natural Dispersion / Intermingling with accents/ Successional Planting / Self seeding
What do these words mean? Some principles of ecological planting design. (from the book: "A New Naturalism" by C. Heatherington, J. Sargeant, Packard Publishing, Chichester)
Selection of the right plants for the specific site.
Real structural plants marked down into the Planting Plan. The other plants put randomly into the matrix: No. of plants per msq of the grid, randomly intermingling (even tall plants). Succession through the year.
Complete perennial weed control.
High planting density. Close planting allows the plants to quickly form a covering to shade out weeds.
Use perennials and grasses creating planting specifications that can be placed almost randomly.
Matrix: layers (successional planting for seasonal interest) of vegetation that make up un intermingling (random-scattering) planting scheme: below the surface, the mat forming plants happy in semi-shade, and the layer of sun-loving perennials.
Plants are placed completely randomly: planting individual plants, groups of two, or grouping plants to give the impression of their having dispersed naturally. Even more with the use of individual emergent plants (singletons) that do not self-seed, dispersed through the planting.
An intricate matrix of small plants underscores simple combinations of larger perennials placed randomly in twos or threes giving the illusion of having seeded from a larger group.
The dispersion effect is maintained and enhanced by the natural rhythm of the grasses that give consistency to the design. They flow round the garden while the taller perennials form visual anchors.
Allow self-seeding (dynamism) using a competitive static plant to prevent self-seeders from taking over: Aruncus to control self-seeding Angelica.
Sustainable plant communities based on selection (plants chosen for their suitability to the soil conditions and matched for their competitiveness) and proportions (balance ephemeral plants with static forms and combinations such as clumpforming perennials that do not need dividing: 20% ephemeral, self-seeding plants, 80% static plants) of the different species, dependent on their flowering season (a smaller numbers of early-flowering perennials, from woodland edges, which will emerge to give a carpet of green in the spring and will be happy in semi-shade later in the year, followed by a larger proportion of the taller-growing perennials which keep their form and seed-heads into the autumn and the winter).
Year-round interest and a naturalistic intermingling of plant forms.
Ecological compatibility in terms of plants suitability to the site and plants competitive ability to mach each other.
Working with seed mixes and randomly planted mixtures.
Perennials laid out in clumps and Stipa tenuissima dotted in the gaps. Over the time the grass forms drifts around the more static perennials and shrublike planting while the verbascum and kniphofia disperse naturally throughout the steppe.
Accents: Select strong, long lasting vertical forms with a good winter seed-heads. Select plants that will not self-seed, unless a natural dispersion model is required.
Planes: if designing a monoculture or with a limited palette, more competitive plants may be selected to prevent seeding of other plants into the group.
Drifts: to create drifts of naturalistic planting that are static in their shape over time use not-naturalizing, not self-seeding, not running plants.
Create naturalistic blocks for the seeding plants to drift around. For the static forms select plants that do not allow the ephemerals to seed into them.
Blocks: use not-naturalizing species, in high densities, in large groups.
Select compatible plants of similar competitiveness to allow for high-density planting (to enable planting at high density in small gardens).
Achieve rhythm by repeating colours and forms over a large-scale planting.