During my first spring workday in the garden this weekend, my perennial garden received a major cleanup and haircut. It looks quite barren but for the snowdrops, crocus and the green tips of daffodils poking up. Cutting back the grasses is the hard part. I’ve enjoyed their taupy forms all winter and now they look a bit like stumps. Over the years I have figured out the easiest way (quickest cleanup) to cut them back is to tie up all the grassy blades with a bungy cord and use my hedge trimmers to cut the bundle in one level sweep. On the Highline garden in NYC the crews have been working since the last snow melted and the first little species tulips (Tulipa turkestanica) are blooming among these grassy “stumps”.
I recently returned from Istanbul, Turkey. It probably tops my list of favorite cities to visit considering all it has to offer; warm, sunny weather in October, lots of cultural sights, wonderfully exotic sounds and smells, and the beautiful Bosphorus.
From what I’ve read, Turkish gardens differ from Persian ones in that they usually do not include water (perhaps because water is less scarce here). Unfortunately, very few traditional Ottoman gardens remain in Turkey. The public gardens of Topkapi palace, Blue Mosque and Dolmabache palace we visited in Istanbul were all influenced by Roman (Western) gardens and included lots of water elements as in the examples below;