I went out to the garden to do a little work for the first time since December. The rotting remains of once vibrant leaves, looking like zombies of their former selves, are coating all the available dirt. The ephemeral-ness of gardens sort of pisses me off. Sigh.
I learned a lot last year from my first gardening year. Most of what I really tried to make survive, did just fine, despite less than an inch of rain during summer. Yes, the entire 3 months, with 89 straight days above 90.
But today, I am ripping out my mistakes none the less. Lantana is a great plant for this area, but I have to face it. I hate it. It just smells awful to me. Its unkempt in a way that does not appeal to me. And its downright huge. I pulled the biggest offender out of the back garden today, and the other 3 in the front garden's days are numbered. Life is too short and there are too many other things I want to grow for lantana to be in my life anymore. (if any of you Charleston people want a 4x4 ft lantana plant you just let me know).
I also moved the butterfly bush. It is also too big and needs too much sun for where it fits. So he's gone out back to the parking area where he can have all the room and sun he can stand. I won't really get to see him much as he lies beyond the fence... but hey, my neighbors will be happy come August with this great purple bush growing where weeds once grew.
Showy evening primrose is doing a little too well, and I ripped out half of that. Now that he's very established, and in an idea situation, according to the experts, he better be covered in blooms or he's gone this time next year. Too invasive.
I got rid of the crinum lilies (gift to my mom). They just aren't me. They grew well though. And by the way should you ever want to dig them up they the bulbs are the size of eggplants down there!
I got rid of the Sedum (Autumn Joy). For the time it was blooming it was great... but at least here, it looks like giant broccoli for 80% of the year. Just not me, and doesn't match all the other flowers in that super sunny portion of the garden.
The yarrow, which I cannot keep from the super flop, is also going to Virginia, as soon as things thaw up there, where it can be planted in the 'ignored' bed, and just be a field flower.
In the spaces left by all this, I am adding some more of what did great, AND I loved. I will be adding a few more coneflowers, more agapanthas, more area for cleome to reseed, and a few more rose bushes. I have another hydrangea whom I got for 4 dollars in late November and never made it out of its pot. And its out there putting out buds, despite his severe neglect. I have planted a start of blue sky vine (Thunbergia Grandiflora) which was stolen (the cutting) from a neighbor (I hope he forgives me, and cringe if he saw me out there at 7am trying to cut the piece with my keys). And when the time comes in May foxgloves will again be the star of the show around here.
For full year top performance at my house anyway the awards go to the various rose bushes and the coneflowers, they really didn't care that we had a real feel temperature of 104 for all of July and August. As far as annuals go, the angelonias, torenias and African bush daisies are the winners and they will all be back, in force.
Finally, I also learned that I can't be a full time blogger. I just get too distracted, so I think what I'll do is just post when I have something to report or show, and if its twice one week and then once in 3 months, that will just be the way that it has to be!!! I want to do it, but I don't want to stress about it!
Happy Gardening 2011 everyone. I have the next two weeks to clean up and get the garden ready for the race, and then we're off to a year #2!!!
F is for Ian Hamilton Finlay
9 hours ago