When we first arrived here, I think we had grandiose plans about the landscape. There is such a thing as too much space. What we envisioned, in terms of landscaping and plans, was way more than two elders could ever achieve, or maintain. We planted, willy-nilly.

We learned. Poor soils, invasive knapweed, ravenous rabbits and deer, outsized ideas. Some things, we did right. And others–well, plants died or failed to thrive, or found themselves poorly situated. We’re still learning.

In one area, we thought we’d plant a hedge of blooming and berry-yielding plants–for the bees. It’s time to re-assess. There are just too many critters competing for those delicious plants. Between the deer, the bunnies, the voles, the moles and the mice, it’s a wonder any of them are still alive. They should not have to spend their lives in cages (which only make them difficult to maintain); it’s time to transplant what’s left into areas where they will thrive. So yesterday I started. I have blueberries, honey berries, high bush cranberries, rhubarb, elderberries and saskatoons to relocate. They belong in the fenced garden, with the other domesticated plants. Unlike the blackberries, they have no defenses. What were we thinking?

In the interim, we’ve moved the bees up the hill–largely to get them away from nearby fields that are sprayed and treated with neonics.

So now we are rethinking the various spaces in the garden. By the time we finish, this fenced area is going to be packed–and that’s okay. Some things can stay where they are–the redbuds and lilacs are safe enough. I may even put in some dogwood varieties (Cornelian cherries). After all, some things we do plant for the wildlife. This will be the year of transition and reckoning. It will be busy. But in the meantime, it’s like musical chairs, these plants have no idea where they’ll end up, when the music stops.

How do you tell a plant that this is good news?