The landscaping at our current home is, at best, overgrown. This included the small patch that I look straight at when I'm washing dishes or just gazing absentmindedly out the kitchen window. A year ago I took matters into my own hands by covering the cluster of foot-high grass and weeds with newspaper, covering the newspaper with pine needles, and letting nature do its work. This spring I uncovered what is now a patch of clear soil and saw that it was time to head out on a shopping trip.
I am very much a hit or miss gardner. I like to visit a nursery or garden center, choose plants that strike my fancy, plant them, tend to them (sort of), and then see what happens. I guess this is sort of a tough-love kind of gardening: If a plant can't take my hands-off style, it probably don't belong in my garden. Thankfully I seem to have chosen pretty well for the somewhat shady spot, and my patch is now home to a wide variety of flowering perennials, including this beauty, a Columbine:
I'll admit to having no prior familiarity with this flower and, like what I have to assume is a large number of people, my only association with the name is more sadness than anything else. But look at that flower! I love the deep red color, and I especially love the complexity of it. It, along with its other flowering neighbors, has improved my view considerably.