Merilyn Simonds title: A New Leaf: Growing With My Garden

A Gardener’s Credo

I am not what some would call a serious gardener. I don’t know the Latin names of plants, except those that sound subversive or whimsical or mysterious. Phlox subulata. Euphorbia corollata. Nepeta nervosa. I try to design my gardens by the book–three of this, seven of that, never four or six—but in the end, I do what looks good to me, because let’s face it, no bus tour will ever traipse across my white–clover lawn. I will never show my delphiniums at the fair.

My Beloved laughs when I say I’m a lazy gardener. It’s true that I’m out the door at dawn and he has to drag me back inside when the sun goes down. But I don’t plant my carrots in rows or deadhead my dahlias and I never (almost never) turn the soil. I rarely water. Only the babies in my garden beds are coddled.

I have land, more than enough land, but not much money and less time. I don’t want to work any harder than I have to.

Pleasure is the only rule. The exuberant sweep of colour, the sweet scents and sharp tastes, the upthrust trailing shapes, the accidental pairings that make me laugh or weep with their unlikely beauty—we’re bound together, my garden and me, in the ecstacy of perpetual growth.

Merilyn Simonds in the garden