A grand thunderstorm overnight Tuesday brought much-needed rain. It also left the pathway stones in the meditation circle a bit wet and muddy. The circle was still in shadow early this morning when I took these pictures, but I wanted to document what feels to me like major progress.
It’s been several years since the meditation circle has been completely weeded, with the paths clear of obstacles so I could actually walk the labyrinth. Over this past week I have been removing various grasses and zillions of dandelions, along with other inappropriate interlopers, replacing them with colorful annual flowers as I went along. Sunday I finished both weeding and planting.
Native perennial Penstemon ‘Husker’s Red’ was planted into the meditation circle during its first year. Later Verbena bonariensis and Cleome were introduced. All have multiplied readily, spilling themselves into the walking paths.
At first it was welcomed, petals or foliage softening the hard edges of the stone blocks. Starry-eyed when those flowers started blooming, I would leave them to do their thing.
Through the years I have moved many of the excess elsewhere and passed along many to friends—still they continued to overrun their space making the labyrinth unusable most of the summer.
This year I decided to reclaim the circle for its intended purpose.
There still are plenty of penstemon, beckoning hummingbirds as they come into flower. It’s the stem and leaves that are red, not the flowers. I probably thought otherwise when I bought them.
On a whim at the garden center last week I chose two trays of Salvia splendens? (Scarlet Sage) to serve as the labyrinth’s walls along the stone paths.
I used to grow this salvia every year. In my experience the red plants are more reliable but I couldn’t resist this color mixture. The purple ones play off the foliage color of the penstemon while the other colors brighten the scheme.
I dropped cerinthe seeds in lots of places in the garden. For some reason one place it liked best was the meditation circle. Although the plants are perilously near the path, today their bluish bracts made me very happy.
Can I be ruthless? Will I keep my meditation circle weeded and walkable all summer? Sure hope so. Stay tuned.