Somewhere, though, in learning what I "ought" to love I lost track of some of the things I actually love. It turns out that, though I like reliable backdrop plants that look great all year, what I really love is the ephemeral. I WANT my garden to flare up in gorgeous color one day that is gone the next. That's why I live in Michigan. I love spring, and summer and fall, the change, the dynamism. I even love winter – the long peace, the planning, the slowly, tortuously building anticipation that leaves me literally shaking, dancing, laughing with joy when those first crocuses and snowdrops show themselves.
I've learned to laugh it off when someone pulls out the tired old line about mature gardeners focusing on foliage rather than flowers. I'm going to plant what I love because I love it, let the designers and experts think what they will. I'd rather be deliriously happy than 'right' any day.