Mistakes in Scale


My tulips bloomed last week. I know this because as I was pulling into the driveway, I saw a flash of yellow, very far away.
Then it snowed, and I forgot about them. Now they are pitiful- squashed by a foot and a half of very wet snow.

See- way over there, by the bricks...under the window? Yellow and orange tulips?

See- way over there, by the bricks…under the window? Yellow and orange tulips?

Why, oh why won’t I learn to plant big things far away, and little things close?
I kind of learn it- I did put about 20 bulbs into a pot on the porch, where I can sit next to them in the morning sunshine, and I have some other tiny scilla mixed in with the grass just off the patio, so I can strum the ukulele and enjoy their tiny bell shaped blossoms. But putting 6 inch tall yellow tulips 30 feet away from where I walk, or sit, or drive, that’s just silly.
Mistakes in scale are super common- my favorite (now that it is gone) is the Russian sage that the previous owners planted underneath the mailbox. So, think about this- a shrubby perennial, beloved by bees, that gets to be 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide, in a 2 foot wide bed between the driveway and the front walk, right under the mailbox. Did I mention it was beloved by bees? Yeah. It was not beloved by mailmen.
I broke two separate digging forks trying to uproot it. DH was heard to comment one time after I cut it back severely and tried to dig it out, “I hope I never make you as mad as that russian sage made you.”
It didn’t make me mad, it just was in the wrong place. When you are in the wrong place, I let you know.

Another mistake in scale I see all the time is a narrow flower bed along the back fence, planted with geraniums and marigolds. A wooden stockade fence 6 feet tall, with 6 inch flowers in front of it, 20 or 30 feet away from the porch or the patio or the deck.
So, maybe size doesn’t matter, but scale does… what mistakes in scale with gardens to you see? What mistakes do you still make?

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