touchy-feely plants

plant mosaicSOMETIME AGO, I overheard visitors to one of the country’s finest public gardens recounting their experience. “I liked it,” said one woman, who called herself a professional gardener, “but I didn’t like that all the plants touched.” I think perhaps she missed the point: That’s the best part, the making of botanical mosaics, the weaving-together of things; the part when the mulch disappears. It’s what you wait for, what you try to hurry along by planting too close at the start, or by overfeeding. One of my favorite touchy-feely plant mosaics, of Asarum europaeum, Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’, Hosta ‘June,’ Japanese painted fern and Primula kisoana, lives beside the front walk, due back above ground any month now.

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