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Re: Re: Happy Birthday
gardenchat@hort.net

I find it interesting how many of us have gotten "stuck", either too weary or overwhelmed or depressed to do much in the garden. Sometimes I look at my garden and despair. I am very glad that I planted the 100' + perennial border in shrubs and blueberries, and that I gave away so many of my plants to MGs and new plant enthusiasts. I am also glad that much of my yard is shady so weeds aren't as likely to take over. I wish that I had more sun for vegetables, but dread the thought of removing an old tree to do so. I didn't think the trees would make it when we moved here 30+ years ago, since they were old then and drought had taken its toll. I babied them along, and while they're past the end of their natural life span, I'd hate to see them go.

Most of my active gardening now is in containers out of necessity, and most of that is tomatoes, cucumbers and beans. I can't get around as well as I used to do. I can manage to get out in the yard and make lists of things for my husband or an arborist to do. I can also get out and enjoy the little surprises. Last week's joy was a large clump of surprise lilies (Lycoris squamigera) . I planted a single bulb that I brought home from New Orleans when I was speaking there in '98 or '99 and it's been increasing every year. The voles don't get it and the leaves are up early before it gets too shady for them.

This morning I looked out past the greenhouse and despite the dark skies, 'Grandpa Ott's' morning glories were blooming their little hearts out, punctuated here and there by the occasional reverse color form. I planted them in the front yard more than a decade ago and they self-so and climb up various plants here and there. Unlike other morning glories, they don't take over and strangle everything.

I enjoy the birds just as much. The elderberries are nearly gone but pokeweed berries are ripening. Mockingbirds and catbirds have been enjoying them. The seed-eaters, like gold finches, are enjoying the Rudbeckia triloba, another of my reseeding garden friends. I have scatterings of them here and there and they never fail to make me smile. The butterflies are enjoying the 'Zowie' Zinnias I planted after receiving a sample packet. They're pretty amazing.

We're in that lull between heavy spring/summer bloom and fall foliage, but there are still some sporadic flowers on the Hydrangea macrophyllas. They really took a hit last winter - including the reblooming types. The oakleaf is about done and the peegee just cranking up. There are still a few flowers on our venerable Magnolia grandiflora. M. macrophylla hasn't bloomed, but after being practically turned inside out during a bad storm this spring, I'm a little surprised it's still hanging in. It's also in too much shade, because I planted it expecting one of the clumps of red maple to be long gone by now.

Has anyone else lost their plant lust? I don't even keep up with new varieties anymore. I still get a few sample plants every now and then but have taken myself off of most of the lists for lack of room and energy. I used to practically jump up and down whenever a box of new plants would arrive. The last few years I dreaded them. If someone had told me that I wouldn't much care 30 years ago, I would have thought they were batty. I not only had plant lust, but serial plant lust where I'd have to investigate every cultivar of whatever it was, whether trops or Salvia or whatever.

Daryl
Georgia, north of Atlanta




Man, I miss this.  *SO* much.  Even talking about our gardens this little
bit makes me want to get back out there and plant again.

I strolled through the yard and looked at things differently tonight.
Where I used to see so much work I saw little flowers peeking out and
plans creeping into my head.  Maybe I'll get some gardening done this
week.  :)

The big things in bloom right now here are:

  Joe pye-weed
  Wild senna
  Thimbleberry
  Various hosta
  Swamp milkweed
  Day lilies
  Summersweet
  False hydrangea (Deinanthe bifida and D. caerulea)
  Clematis viticella 'Betty Corning'
  Pink Lemonade honeysuckle
  Wild petunia
  and lots of annuals

How about the rest of you?  What's doing well?  Is everyone OK with
sending pictures to the list if people want to?

Chris<<

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