That was the statement and request of our dear friend and client and surely a compliment that is difficult to live up to. This was clearly stated in kindness (or blindness to the weeds, chicken scratchings and the almost accidental, haphazard quality that our gardens possess) but we did understand her meaning. When we’re on top of our game, our gardens do express abundance, jubilance, colorfulness and romance. We create cottage gardens. This garden is newly planted, and it always irks me to see the gardens that we create at this particular stage because of their awkwardness. The fresh mulch and the instant color is nice, and yet, they are immature. Many of the plants have been reared in greenhouses and so their flowering periods are somewhat out of synch with nature. Plants chosen to cascade, drape and mound are too young to do so and those meant to stand tall, proud and boldly display color like a peacock may not perform instantaneously. As always, it takes a year or two for a garden to come into its own. Many of the previously existing perennials, including peonies and hibiscus, will languish after the move and may not flower this year or next, but, still, the promise of a new garden, carefully created; removing invasive weeds, stem by stem, filtering the soil, hand-digging 12″ of horse manure into the ground, incorporating organic fertilizers and watering and mulching, is a promise of beauty and sensual enjoyment for years to come.