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Re: Cutting back fans?

Lois Rose wrote:
> I have a theory that back in the 50's and 60's, even the 30's and 40's or
> any other era, they had their own "modern" varieties that simply wouldn't
> grow.  Those varieties are no longer around.  The oldies we have around
> that are so vigorous and hardy, surviving at old home sites with no care
> or separating, are still around because they proved to be the hardiest
> varieties of their generation.  The others did not survive the test of
> time.  Thirty or forty years from now, some gardeners will be growing
> hardy oldies from the 80's and 90's.  Then we will know which of today's
> "modern" varieties have withstood the test of time.  I may be way off
> base, but that's my theory and I'm sticking to it.
> Dennis Replies: You might be right Lois - One note tho..in the 30's and 40's there were not 800 TB's introduced per year. I think overall 
vigor has declined.  If newer isn't always better, More isn't always 
better either.  (I like it when someone sticks to their guns.) 

Lois continues:
I hope I have 25-30 good gardening years left in me, but with passing
> years I'm going to have to find simpler ways of doing things.  (Gees,
> what am I saying--I need to do that now!)  So perhaps I will start a
> "hardiness" test garden.  Let the grass and weeds invade, rarely dig and
> divide, mow them off the with lawn mower.  And keep detailed records over
> the next 25-30 years about which ones can take it.

Dennis replies:  Go for it - in the early winter use a blow torch to 
kill old leaves and borer eggs. ("Old timers" did that for real inc. my 
>Lois continues: Back on topic, I cut back diseased foliage if I have time.  But I would
> never trim healthy foliage.  My irises have to survive a lot of benign
> neglect.  Some can take it, some can't.
> Dennis replies - I have cut my garden back one year - the next I didn't.  The only thing I noticed was the "weak" growers became weaker, 
the strong growers kept on going.  Oh well.  
P.S. Lois you have many good years left.  Gardening with all it's grief 
and pleasure keeps you young.  Look at Daisy Hylton in Salem, and others 
like Alice Bouldin and Rosalie Figge.

Regards,  Dennis (I'm still recovering from the big dig) Stoneburner

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