March 11, 2011
Navigating new "plantforms"
Like computer problems, the more glitches you get, the more you learn. Ditto for gardening: every disaster teaches something new, especially when weather sends us an error message on the new “plantform” that we can’t resist. Well, we wouldn’t be gardeners if we just settled for current “media!” Though I’ll always settle for my beloved Narcissus Erlicheer that returns, drought or hard freeze.
And native Mexican plum with its heady fragrance and flowers every early spring.
I do tend to lose all the fruits every year. I’ve learned that I need to water it in summer and fall. Operator error.
Bu I get a kick out of new software, like my Arum italicum that I planted a few years ago. It has been a reliable cool weather comeback in the shady spot under the island bed mountain laurel.
When it fades in the heat, Drimiopsis maculata (African hosta) comes in. I feared they wouldn’t return after the hard freeze, but they’re tougher than I thought. Wonderful color and texture in that shady spot we all need to deal with.
To my surprise, my hyacinths, Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Sky Jacket’, return every spring. I only have a few, but guess I’ll insert some more next year for a bolder message. Oh, do I say “next year” too often?!
I can always count on Narcissus Falconet, when others didn’t withstand my bulb upgrade for long.
And Dutch iris.
Dutch iris were my starter bulbs when I didn’t have a lot of cash. Although I’ve lost some over the years, I still have the first ones I ever planted as a brand new gardener.
I only have two of the ‘Scotty’s Surprise’ oxalis, discovered by Scott Ogden. Their yellow flowers will soon bring a wonderful Linda surprise. This year, I’ll try to divide them.
If you have pathways, they really do need native Golden groundsel (Packera obovata).
Some plants are still thinking about things. Let them think a little, and I bet you’ll be surprised.
Don’t take the shovel to them just yet! With the weather swings right now, the plants are hunkering for safety. Unlike us, they’re not unpacking shorts just yet.
One of my “recovered” softwares is the Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’, a dear passalong from Pam Penick. It looks horrible in this picture from a few weeks ago, but already, I see leaves from one and pups from another. Nature’s “external backup.”
Until next week, Linda