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ingrid_vc

Do you think, and rethink, and think again about your choices?

I wasn't like that when I first began planting because my garden plots were dirt and the sky was the limit. I tumbled back to earth when I realized how many choices were wrong for this new microclimate that I hadn't experienced before, and which stressed many roses severely. Still, I would cull the failures and order and keep ordering. It was cooler, there was more rain and the garden was lush. I had a lot more roses and it all looked pretty good. Come the five year drought and a drastic wake-up call. The number of roses was cut in half and now every choice I make assumes tremendous importance, especially since the youngsters that I often bought took forever before they made a positive statement in the garden. I planted Aloha, Duchesse de Brabant and Blush Noisette against the house wall and then wondered why I hadn't just put Reve d'Or, one of my favorite roses, there. What was I thinking? Aloha was stiff, DdB is droopy and BN barely blooms before it fries. I probably should have put Grandmother's Hat in Aloha's place. Mme. Joseph Schwartz would have been better than DdB. I took out pink Gruss an Aachen because it began to deteriorate. Why didn't I wait longer and give it another year to improve? Plum Perfect has plumb refused to grow as has Carding Mill. Leave them in or take them out? One International Herald Tribune is blooming well and growing, the other was cut down by rabbits an is about an inch tall. Take it out or give it another chance, while it meanwhile leaves an ugly gap? Ditto with Love Song, which obviously hates me. Mme. Antoine Mari is growing super well and blooming a lot, but the blooms fry almost immediately with those thin petals. Ditto Charles Darwin, whose blooms looked so lovely in the spring. Mrs. Henry Morse took a hit almost immediately with squirrels knocking off one baby branch and something eating a hopeful new cluster of leaves. Why in the world did I not protect it!


With the world most likely going to hell in a hand basket, I torture myself with these ultimately meaningless and unimportant matters. Is anyone else this compulsive (bordering on the slightly crazy) or am I the only one? Sometimes I think gardening is one area that I can control (or so I tell myself) and that's why these choices are so important to me. Nevertheless, I wish I were one of those people who can make a selection, call it good, and never question it again.


I want to know how you all deal with this situation. I suppose I'd like to know that I'm not the only one who should be sedated for her own good.


Comments (46)

  • 7 years ago

    Well, this gives me an opportunity I've been waiting for, to get something off my chest... due to some depressing news the other day, I took it out on the garden and dug up 15 rose bushes, perennials, ground covers... - all gone in an instant, like ''vamoosh''..I'm not saying which ones [some gems amongst them which is shameful] and I now have bare earth everywhere, and do you know what? I feel so much the better for it... I shall replant next Spring, but not with roses, annuals probably.... I want ''easy''.. not ''stress''.. and roses can so often be the latter... as you have alluded to Ingrid... thank you...

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked User
  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Rethink my choices?? Yes, I do, even more so lately. From now to about late August is the worst time frame psychologically in regards to my garden. Despite the lack of disease that plague roses, gardening here requires so much effort. The rocky, caliche riddled soil, that requires a jackhammer to dig holes at a somewhat non-laborious, non snail's pace, combined with it being only suitable for growing plants that do not require any fertility, plus the climate presents a unique challenge. Top that with the perpetual drought, all of the Summer ugliness, and after a while.... I will not let "here" drive me crazy. We have given up, and in less than one year, for many reasons including proper timing, with a high rate of probability, this state will no longer be the place we call home....I am letting it go.....

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Lynn-in-TX-Z8b- Austin Area/Hill Country
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  • 7 years ago

    can't help but share your mood, desertgarden...

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked User
  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yes, Ingrid, I also think and rethink spaces (somewhat obsessively). My father was an electrical engineer, and I'm guessing I inherited a touch of his OCD. Like you, the control factor is significant. My garden is a living art project where I get to plan and construct freely. Mother Nature has a hand, of course, but unlike so many events in the world that are ugly and chaotic, my developing garden falls within my realm of influence and design. Because of the control factor, thinking, rethinking and redoing becomes an exercise in sanity keeping. I am reworking the spaces for the third time in 15 years...A LONG and somewhat arduous stretch of 15 years which could have tipped the scales of my life into the crazy making zone...but it didn't. Thank you, roses!

    You and Mother Nature have a more challenged relationship than PNW gardeners and Mother N, probably at least partly due to destructive technological and political human interference. In your climate, works of garden art require even more focus and revision. I believe that it is your attention to detail and your willingness to begin again that produce such delicate and exquisite results. The climate continues to set up obstacles and to back you into corners, season by season, but because you regroup and alter your original plans--reinterpreting, experimenting and redesigning as needed--your garden looks seamless and continuous. A slice of beauty in a world that is unfortunately also inhabited by ugliness. If we all obsessed a bit more over goodness and beauty, the ugliness in the wold would shrink.

    Marlorena, you go, gardener woman! No judgements here. It's your slice of paradise, and annuals need a good home, too. I'll bet those annuals are going to be some I covet. :-) Carol

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked portlandmysteryrose
  • 7 years ago

    Yes, and I still get it wrong half the time

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Rosefolly
  • 7 years ago

    Ingrid, I suspect that because the world is going to hell in a handbasket, it helps to feel that we can counteract that hellishness with our garden sanctuaries. It's a place where we have some control and where we can indulge our nurturing instincts, and that is certainly not the case in many aspects of our lives.

    Having said that, I also believe that if gardens are extensions of our selves, representing our tastes and needs, we owe it to ourselves to be kind, patient and forgiving of any mistakes we make.

    Marlorena, I'm sorry you had bad news, and glad you were able to channel those darker feelings into making space in your garden for something new and different. I know we're all looking forward to seeing what will come next.

    Desertgarden, I seem to recall that you've been weighing your options regarding staying or going for a while. It sounds like you're definitely ready for a change, and even if you'll have some blackspot or other issues where you end up, I think I'd trade them for "jackhammers required" conditions any day. I wish you all the best as you figure out how to make the next move.

    Carol, I do think you've got a good perspective on things, and your awareness of your controlling tendencies helps you keep them "under control", so to speak. ;>)

    It's good to be able to plan a garden (or so I assume; I wish I could do it), but it's also good to ask if the mistakes aren't sometimes better than what was planned, and to enjoy the learning process. If a garden is more of a headache than a release or haven, that sounds like a signal that some fine-tuning/ balancing is needed.

    Virginia

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked User
  • 7 years ago

    Rosefolly, that's exactly how I feel! I suppose we should be kind to ourselves and say at least we get it right half of the time. We are not super-talented garden designers and our main focus is roses, which may make our gardens a bit unbalanced. But who cares, we have only ourselves to please.

    Marlorena, you don't need to justify your actions to anyone, it is and always will be your garden to do with as you please. You had your reasons, and frankly my life has become easier with having only half as many roses. I've thrown away so many roses, and some people here said I should have given them away. There was no one nearby to give them to (at that time I did not know about Lisa) and the one person I did give roses to has moved away and I'm sure all the roses are dead. Having a garden is work, and having a garden with roses is more work. Even if you rip it all up on a whim, so what? You'll create something new and even better.

    Carol, you are far too kind, probably because you haven't seen my garden in real life, but thank you from the heart. I sense that you've had far more to contend with in your life than you've shared here, much pain, and yet you've entered wholeheartedly into our little problems and concerns about our roses, always helpful and sensitive, and with such beautiful prose. It is rather amazing that focusing on something that is beautiful and enriching, and that we've created ourselves, can mitigate and push to the background other more dire concerns, even just to give us a moment's respite. Of course some of us (me, me) go whole hog, as though the fate of nations depended on whether I should reorder Spice (why the heck did I get rid of the first one?) or perhaps something more daring, but possibly less healthy (I reordered Spice). If we're a bit crazy, at least it's a rather benign craziness, we usually punish no one except ourselves.

  • 7 years ago

    Virginia, our posts crossed, and as always when reading your remarks your gentleness and wisdom come through in such a calming way that I think everything is right with the world. Never mind what you're going through and have gone through, your courage never seems to leave you. I'll try to keep your example in mind the next time I want to weep because of some gardening mishap.

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have come to realize there is a lot of chaos in gardening and I'm trying to embrace that. For example today I realized two bands of Marechal Niel started blooming and they look exactly like my Reve d' Or. I am going to rationalize that this is all for the best because MN is such a heartbreaker and RdO is such a winner. I view it a little like "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get". I have never seen MN in person, so that might make it easier. I feel that all my love and energy is going to ultimately make my plot better, no matter that all these mistakes are being made and will continue to be made as long as I am able. Your battle is not futile, Ingrid. You are bringing joy and inspiration to countless people.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Sheila z8a Rogue Valley OR
  • 7 years ago

    The short answer is 'No'!

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked nikthegreek
  • 7 years ago

    Spoken like a true man, Nik, resolute and firm, no doubts ever, just go out and do it. Maybe I could take lessons? Or maybe I secretly enjoy being conflicted....

    Sheila, you are ever encouraging. Having Reve d'Or could never be a mistake and besides being beautiful it doesn't need coddling, and will be a huge, gorgeous ornament in your garden. Your garden keeps getting better and everything looks beautiful after such a relatively short time. Mistakes are the name of the game for all of us, but most of them are easy to fix. That's why they make shovels, after all.

  • 7 years ago

    With all my fidgets, I would say this isn't one of them. I have zillions of plans, that get carried out one day--or not--and that work out well enough most of the time that I'm reasonably happy with the results. Mother Nature has a considerable hand in my garden, in fact, she's my collaborator. Perhaps it's because I do a relatively low-input kind of gardening (very little in the way of fertilizer, spraying, water) that I don't get terribly upset if things turn out rather differently than I planned: after all, there's another Planner on board, and she doesn't necessarily communicate her intentions beforehand. Also I don't plan to an inch, and tidiness ranks low on my list of priorities. Right now we're just concentrating on keeping everything alive (with three months of summer to go: YUCK!!), and not thinking much about anything else.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Melissa Northern Italy zone 8
  • 7 years ago

    Once I place a plant in the ground I rarely move it elsewhere or shovel prune. I do engage in an agonizing, obsessive decision-making process over what I want to plant. I missed the Sacramento Open Garden date in 2016 and spent the intervening year researching OGRs and select modern roses. I make lists of roses by historic era, ARS ranking, HelpMeFind average rating, vendors, and color. Do I want this or do I really want that? I wanted this, then I thought it wasn't right for that spot, but now...Hmmm...

    I'm always asking myself if I want to grow a rose because of romance I've attached to its history or symbolism. Then I try to think practically regarding which rose most likely flourishes in the climate, soil, and space. A sort of intuition is formed somewhere in the process. Somehow I was happy to pick my class of 2017 roses that I hadn't considered the prior year. I try not to fulfill my inclination to nurture an older and fussier rose to "save" that one by cultivating it in my garden.

    I actually only keep a journal of my gardening thought process anymore since, as you said, the world looks to be approaching "hell in a handbasket." Reading everyone's responses and replying was therapeutic. Thank you for starting the topic.

    Justin

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked WildWhiteRose
  • 7 years ago

    Once a rose is bought and planted, I do not second guess. Many die easily enough due to our climate that I have second or even third chances. I do have a plan in mind and try mightily to find roses that will fulfill it. Most of the time I adapt and try again without too much angst. I do have a 3 story brick wall with Taxus heckrotii against part of it that I have tried to grow repeat climbing roses through and above for at least 20 years without success. Correction. Ilse Krohn Superior lived for a number of years but it was not repeat and blooms were short lived. On that wall I have killed 3-4 Sombreuil, 2 Mme Alfred Carriere and 1, possibly 2, Mrs. Herbert Stevens. A sensible person would find something else to do with their time. I will not. I will find a white climber that survives there. And I loved your phrase, Ingrid, "be sedated for her own good".

    Cath

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked cathz6
  • 7 years ago

    I do plenty of researching and planning but being a parent of young children means that quick and easy is very tempting. I know I will generally get a bigger plant at a local nursery so I will sometimes buy something that's close to but not exactly what I wanted because it's readily available. I planted a Winchester Cathedral this spring even though the bright white of the blooms doesn't really work for me. I've already moved it once but now it's in a bed with yellows and apricots and it sticks out like a sore thumb. It will be moved again soon.

    Frequent reshuffling suits some vigorous perennials but roses need to settle in to really show off. I really need to be patient, pick the right rose for the right spot and leave them alone.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Cassandra Wright (6b PA)
  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    You can pretty much assume that your garden will die, anyway, once you are gone (for example, my home of 25 years ago in Massachusetts is currently for sale as a foreclosure and nearly every bit of the garden, except Narcissus 'Thalia' is gone, from what I see in the posted photos). So, a garden is, at best, a work in progress, and temporary at best, too, except in exceptional cases. It is also true, I think, that one only truly learns to garden by making mistakes -- many mistakes (I have killed, probably, thousands of plants) -- so siting plants in the wrong place, making the wrong decisions, etc. are just part of the process. (Obviously, I am not a perfectionist, in the garden at least!)

    Mine is a successional approach: some plants won't work out, and you often will know fairly quickly, so try something new, without regrets, and, also, stuff happens, so things are going to change anyway (this winter, the plum tree fell over, so guess what section of the garden is getting redone?). Nothing is forever. It is important, however, to give new rose plants (own-root, in particular) a chance to establish (minimum 5 years, unless the color or form or disease susceptibility is so hideous as to be unbearable), because many of my roses only got "good" at ages greater than that. After an entire week of heat over 100 degrees F, peaking at 109 degrees F a few days ago, for example, my well-established 'Le Pactole' scarcely missed a beat in its 2nd flush, and today was such a pleasure, and the same can be said for all the other well-established teas in the garden.

    I have enjoyed, or found interesting at least, nearly every rose I've grown, even the ones no longer present.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked catspa_zone9sunset14
  • 7 years ago

    I've really had to think about how to answer this. I must be either flighty, inconsistent, or moody. There's a good possibility I'm all three. Sometimes I agonize, sometimes I don't. I have noticed that my health and the heat cause more second guessing and "what have I done moments". Lisa

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Lisa Adams
  • 7 years ago

    Lisa, I hope you like this quote from Aldous Huxley:

    "Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead."

    I guess it isn't just me, then, who finds that "now is the summer of our discontent", to mis-quote Shakespeare?

    Virginia

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked User
  • 7 years ago

    I'm a newbie still. I like gardening... Well, most time of the year... Summer comes and I'm in agony. To watch how my plants that looked great during other seasons of the year are dying. I killed a lot of roses, especially my first and second order. After that I'm driving myself crazy trying to figure which ones will stay alive during our summers. And again, it's a hit or miss. But I don't give up. I am outside a lot now, trying to avoid some of my mistakes and make every plant happy. I'm not perfectionist. When sun slows down, heat is gone, I'm happy after all, even with bare spots here and there.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Natasha (Chandler AZ 9b) W
  • 7 years ago

    Virginia, another quote along the same lines is: "Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." I have no idea where it came from. It has been in the family too long to source.

    Cath

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked cathz6
  • 7 years ago

    It was 105 degrees here yesterday and when I finally ventured out for a short time in the evening (even after dusk it was still in the nineties), I did feel satisfaction that I had chosen well enough so that not every single flower on every plant was fried. The baby roses in full sun hadn't keeled over and died, and in the evening's dim light the garden looked rather lush and romantic. It was one of those good moments when my critical faculties were for once dormant and I just basked in the beauty. Success!

  • 7 years ago

    These thoughts, Ingrid, that keeps me going! Your yard is one of those the look of which I try to get close to :)

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Natasha (Chandler AZ 9b) W
  • 7 years ago

    Ingrid. I love those good moments! And I'm glad you decided to try Spice again. It takes a while to come into its own, but it's a lovely, historical, elegantly understated rose with absolutely charming ivory linen blooms. All fingers crossed that the petals hold up as well for you as they do in broiling TX! Thank you for your humorous, introspective and very human posts and your always thoughtful replies. Your threads are a joy to read. YOU truly have the gift of prose! Carol

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked portlandmysteryrose
  • 7 years ago

    I wonder if the issue of control doesn't enter into this. I suspect a lot of us garden in part because it's an activity where we have a good deal of freedom and power: freedom to make our gardens as we want, power to execute our wishes, different from just about all the rest of our lives, to make something beautiful, restorative, healthy. This is heady. So, when we're frustrated, by weather, by the wrong plant sent by the nursery, by our own design mistakes, it's an offense against our treasure of freedom. I myself like the collaborative aspect of gardening. Since circumstances and my own temperament counsel me to work with nature--at least, if I want to be able to get anything to grow--I get a good part of my satisfaction in seeing how well I can do that; find the plants that will grow well in my conditions as well as help me work out my design plan and satisfy me aesthetically.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Melissa Northern Italy zone 8
  • 7 years ago

    I love life; plants, animals, children... and beauty. What could be better than making something beautiful out of living things? I joke and say I like things that grow; plants, animals, children and money, not necessarily in that order.

    Cath



    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked cathz6
  • 7 years ago

    Living far away from my garden and not having access to running water, I think I have a LOT less control over what happens in it than most gardeners do. I'm dependent on weather. I have to work hard even to keep intruders (animal and human) at a manageable level.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked User
  • 7 years ago

    As I am still in the mad planting stage but this year am lacking the energy I had in previous seasons. I question not my choices but the whole process. And then something new blooms and all is well with the world again and I am back out pruning, planting and composting. I spent several hours sifting compost a couple of days ago and am taking it easy today. Got about 20 gallons of good compost sieved through a 1/2" screen so will put it in bags in the sun for awhile to finish it off. Something very satisfying about composting. The deer don't eat it :) Added to my very sandy soil it should help retain moisture and nutrients. As it is made 95% from yard clippings it is more leaf mould than black compost but will still help things. And I won't have to haul heavy bags from the nursery! I can transport it in small amounts across the yard.


    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Anne Zone 7a Northern CA
  • 7 years ago

    Ingrid, just found this thread and have to say that you start the best threads! Always so timely for me


    Marlorena, I've been taking roses out by the dozens and feeling better about it in the end, though I'm just replacing with more roses. It's getting where people see me and say RUN, there's the crazy lady pawning off roses on everybody, LOL!


    I've spent a tremendous amount of thought plotting my plans, but sometimes, the rose is a different color in my climate, or the fragrance isn't good enough in my sandy soil. Or it's strong but I just don't like it.


    And the ones with the best fragrance seem to be the wrong color or the ones that never bloom.


    But the biggest problem is that most are getting gigantic because of my warm climate and blocking all of the windows. I didn't realize how things were closing in on me until I removed or hacked everything in half. So I'm looking at ugly legs but can see the sky again!


    I did take a tip from a smart poster and am leaving roses in pots in the empty holes to be sure that the rose is happy there, not to mention myself.


    But everything looks dug up and under construction now and this was supposed to be my year to sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor.


    Instead, back to the drawing board! Sending sympathies to everybody. Oh, and don't get me started on this heat! In the meantime, looking for fragrant roses with huge blooms but small size.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked lavenderlacezone8
  • 7 years ago

    I can relate, Anne. I used to be so energetic; I don't know what happened to me!

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked User
  • 7 years ago

    Me too, bart and Anne. This is when I learn valuable short cuts! Anne, I admire you for sifting your compost. I have to admit that I just shovel it straight from the bin to the beds. I figure that's got to be better than not composting at all:) Lisa

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Lisa Adams
  • 7 years ago

    lavender, I can so relate to your comment about thinking you're finally done and can enjoy the garden, and instead everything going wrong, tea roses dying, putting new ones in, bitty little roses in other places that refuse to grow and what seemed like a fairly complete garden being a hodge-podge of little plants, empty spots and now after the heat some of the larger roses developing dead canes and not looking their best. I'm always thinking next year will be the charm where it will all come together, and now I'm just hoping it will be done before it's time for me to shuffle off this mortal coil. We have to tell ourselves it's the process that's important, but sometimes I have to force myself to believe it. That's when I look at the things that are going right and tell myself that surely by next spring it will all come together..........

  • 7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have a friend who said she is dismayed at how much she has spent on her garden over the years. I told her to think of how the garden would look if she hadn't. It is probably a question of looking at a glass as half full or half empty. That, and what makes you happy.

    Cath

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked cathz6
  • 7 years ago

    I skipped from the original post to the bottom without reading. There might be other comments like mine, but here goes.

    When I first married my wife was working on her degree in ornamental horticulture. We kept a about 88 potted plants in our tiny living room. People were always amazed at how we could keep them all looking so nice. The answer was simple. We threw away the ones that dropped leaves or otherwise didn't work and replaced them with something else. No stress at all.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked dchall_san_antonio
  • 7 years ago

    I still don't have the heart to shovel prune them so have to find new willing owners! I wish that I would have had somebody wanting to give me dozens of roses when I started out!


    Dchall, that's great advice but what did you do with all of the rejects?


    I think the ones that give me the most guilt are the ones that are doing great, exactly what they are supposed to do, no way to fault them.


    But I think I am going to be more aggressive with those that just don't like the climate. If it's too hot for them, there's the door, LOL!

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked lavenderlacezone8
  • 7 years ago

    I'm extremely relucatant to throw away or kill plants. They're my babies.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Melissa Northern Italy zone 8
  • 7 years ago

    I used to be much more cavalier about discarding roses but I've changed my ways. For one, it takes so long for bands to grow into ornamental plants with little rain. Besides, by now I should know better and be more discriminating in what I order. I know now that Maggie does not ring my chimes but she's staying. Charles Darwin, of which I have two, hardly lasts one day, but I hope with age that will improve. Mrs. Henry Morse is one of those early hybrid teas that take forever to put on growth so that might have been a mistake. I'll try fish solution to hurry her along. Mme. Antoine Mari's flowers are really too delicate for the heat, but there again I hope she'll toughen up with age. Sometimes I wish desperately that I could begin the whole process over again, amend the soil properly before planting, install drip watering right away and choose roses as though my life depended on it. Oh well.....

  • 7 years ago

    I don't worry much about choosing roses. I know I'm not going to like some. Want to see for myself how they do here. I stress out a lot more about choosing paint colors for my house. It is easy to get it wrong. It's a lot of work to redo it. Not cheap either. To me gardening is only partially within one's control. I depend a lot on rain. To me it's just not much fun to garden without some help from nature. Farmers are so much more vulnerable to the whims of weather. Have heard gardeners and farmers described as optimistic people. It does seem like a leap of faith to hope for the best in terms of rain and to believe that your work will turn out well.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked erasmus_gw
  • 7 years ago

    With roses (and with paint color too!) there's sometimes an alchemy that takes place when I choose a color I wouldn't normally go for on a whim and have to make it work with the plants I already have. I had a couple pinks and red scattered around and then recently bought the Kordes rose 'Summer Romance' for the foliage which I really liked. To make it work I moved Heathcliffe and pink Eden (I love red and pink together) both of which I'd thought of as my least favorite roses. They settled in and now Summer Romance and Heath are blooming with a purple red 'Sweet Summer Love' clematis and it just works.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Cassandra Wright (6b PA)
  • 7 years ago

    Do I constantly consider and reconsider my plant choices and garden plans? Do I make careful plans on paper that are never used once I start putting together a bed? Do I get more plants or different plants than I intended and have to figure out how to make it all work? Do I have days where I question my sanity? Yes. Yes I do.

    Life happens. Jobs play a part. Our health and that of our family plays a part. Catastrophes play a part. (Replacing the septic drainfield made a big change in our garden.) Weather plays a part. Critters even play a part. (In one week we were paid a visit by neighbors' pig, chickens, peacock and goats. Those were just the domestic guests; we have plenty of wild visitors, too.) At best, every plant is an experiment here so I try not to let it bother me too much if it isn't growing according to my original plan.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Kes Z 7a E Tn
  • 7 years ago

    I can see how your combination might work Cassandra as my SR buds all have a distinct dark edge as opening buds that closely mimics the colour of Heathcliff. May I ask how large your H is growing? I'd love to see any pics as mine is completely defoliated after trying to grow him in too much shade. He's now in a big pot recuperating in full sun until I get additional deer fencing up in his new home.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
  • 7 years ago

    Cassandra -- how long did it take your clematis "Sweet Summer Love" to get really growing? I have killed three; one is limping along. Even though it has been in the garden for three years, it is only about two feet tall, and it only has one stem. Compared to durandii or Roguchi (sp?), SSL is a dude here in MI.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked rosesmi5a
  • 7 years ago

    A little update: I've come to appreciate the graceful drooping habit of Blush Noisette and its beautiful and utterly healthy leaves. Aloha is still spiny and short of leaves but has put out some beautiful flowers that last well in the heat. I took another look at Love Song and pushed away the soil around its canes. It almost instantly put out a new set of leaves and one bud! Did something similar with Plum Perfect and also took off most of its leaves and it also put out new growth. I just went outside to fill up the completely empty bird bath and took a look at Carding Mill. It seems fuller, has some new leaves and several buds! It took forever but now I'm glad I didn't lose patience. Maybe some of my losers will turn out to be winners!

  • 7 years ago

    I have enjoyed reading this thread! I am a mover and a shaker! lol I love reading and researching all of my plants, then of course, moving them when I think I'd like it somewhere else...(happens a lot) I race home after a long day at work to water and piddle with my babies. It is just so calming and peaceful....I feel such a sense of accomplishment when a rose is doing so well!! I breathe the scents and it takes me back to my grandmothers yard...tea olives, hybrid tea roses, banana shrubs..just fabulous memories!

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked gagalzone8
  • 7 years ago

    Vaporvac- Here is a pic of Heath this morning. He's own root and in his second year in this spot, three years old. Like I've read from other posters, he's tall and narrow. Maybe about two feet across so far and three feet high? Above waist level for me.

    I don't generally like this growth habit and bought Heath because he was on sale for $10 at the end of the season. He's growing on me. The blooms are very large, dark and velvety when it's cool. He has NEVER had any disease for me and I don't spray.

    If course the phone camera brightens the color. Much more true red.

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Cassandra Wright (6b PA)
  • 7 years ago

    How beautiful Cassandra! I keep mine in pots until they bloom to see how the colours looks together, but it's the growth habit that's so hard to judge. My Heathcliff is thanking me for potting it up and moving it to a sunny spot by refoliating almost immediately. It still has a ways to go, but it's moving in the right direction. Sugar Moon is also thanking me and is even sending out a little bud before it's even leafed out! In our zone, roses like sun. : )

    ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9 thanked Vaporvac Z6-OhioRiverValley
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