When I first planted the Monet Garden I thought there would be more sun than there is. Last year I moved out many of the sun lovers and this year I am finally and fully embracing its shady nature with the introduction of dozens of stately Ostrich Ferns.
As apparent as the streak of sunlight cutting across the garden may appear in this photo, it has taken me two seasons to recognize what has been there all along.
Now that I have 'seen the light' (ha ha) and understand where more sun-loving plants can sit in my otherwise shady garden I have a fantastic opportunity to expand my plant selection and introduce something one would not expect to see thriving surrounded by shade plants.
Echinops, which explains how mine have done so well, even though I have resigned myself to the fact that the Monet Garden is generally quite shady. Five or so have come back from last year and I am direct sowing others, using this 'slice of sunlight' as my map and my inspiration.
This is a wonderful example of the interplay between gardener and environment and how experience with a specific property reveals its idiosyncrasies and opportunities to optimize on a micro-level.
For example, last fall I moved Monarda into two different parts of the Monet Garden in order to see which would do better and I could quickly see that the Monarda in the 'slice of sunlight' was 2-3 times the size of the Monarda in the other part of the garden (which has since been moved into the slice).
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