Mulch is all I need
I'm seriously considering ignoring all planting this season and just enjoying the mulch.
I've got a self-combined mix of cedar and no-float cypress making a path through my ersatz cutting garden, aka the Dog Garden. The path matches their preferred route through the garden and roughly makes a Y shape. Everywhere else I'm supposed to have flowers. But I mostly have either crabgrass, or one of the five candy tufts I planted to create a tuffett for P-dog (she loves napping on this flowering evergreen when we visit her favorite aunt and uncle down south), or one of several totally unfamiliar leafy, as-yet unflowering plants that don't quite look like weeds but also don't resemble any of the (many) perennials I've planted in that garden for the past 2 years.
So tonight I pulled out lots of crabgrass and spread some of my gorgeous cotton burr compost mulch and B-dog wallowed in the fragrant, earthy stuff beside me and I decided that, really, it's good enough just like that. It smells divine (if you're into this sort of thing) and it's soft on your paws (for those of us who garden barefoot) and you can go to a conference for a week and come home and not worry about it withering away. The songbirds find lots to peck around in it. I don't have to "deadhead" anything. Really, once it's down it's done except for a little replenishment now and then.
And it gives me more time to hang out with the dogz.