Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What Doesn't Grow In My Garden...

My current garden is actually my fourth in a series (I tend to have itchy feet). Each of those gardens was noteworthy for what did well growing in them... and what didn't. For example, in our present garden I've been able to grow all manner of ladyslipper orchids, hardy cyclamens, Japanese maples, and other plants that are unusual in gardens here in Iowa, but I can't grow plain old aquilegias worth a hoot. In previous gardens, I'd just scatter their seed about and have them by the dozens that would each fill a bushel basket. Here, columbines usually sulk about for a year or two, then just disappear. I know it's a bit shady for them in our present garden, but there's something more to it than that, for even in relatively sunny spots they flop. Perhaps they feel slighted, being a rather common plant amongst all the hoity-toitys imported at great expense from specialty nurseries. I've never thought of myself as being one of those insufferable garden snobs, though I do confess to making a brief, half-hearted attempt when we first moved here to label our property "Cedar Point"... or was it "Cedar Pointe"? Unfortunately our friends just kept calling it "lizndon's place" like they always had, so that went by the wayside.
Whatever the reason; whether it's something in the sun, the soil, the water, or the attitude, I've just about given up on aquilegias... and let's not even talk about daisies!
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Maybe you need to try to grow some of the more exotic Aquilegias, so they'll feel like they fit in! Aquilegias are 1 thing that I can grow well. Would I be willing to trade them for Ladyslipper Orchids? I really couldn't say, as I've never grown them nor seen them in a garden. Good thing the question is merely academic.
This is very interesting.

I wonder if there is some basic difference in soil structure such that being suitable for one plant makes it unsuitable for the other.

Maybe a question of acidity?

In our shady garden, aquilegias grows quite well, and while I confess I haven't had the guts to try ladyslipper or cyclamen, trillium and jack in the pulpit do surprisingly well.

Oh, and there's at least one bright side to your garden name not sticking. Cedar Point is an amusement park around here, and having to remember that's *not* what you were talking about would likely drive me to distraction.
I have to admit to lurking all this time, but never having anything worth contributing. But I must ask you about this columbine! It is my son's high school's color!
Is this "Rememberance"?
(I don't know why I ask, if you can't grow it, I couldn't grow it!!)
Thank goodness! I thought it was just me! Excepting for the regular Colorado State Flower variety, I can't get it to grow, either.
And I won't bring up daisies if you don't bring up lamium (deadnettle). ;-)
Sissy... it was just grown from seed from my SIL's garden... it's gone now, anyway.
Shady... you can't grow lamium? I can't get rid of it!
Ellipsis... I never thought about Cedar Point getting confused with anything; I think there is a retirement community with that name near here.
MMD... you know I've tried some of the "exotic" columbines, but they tend to be alpines, and don't do well in our hot summers.
Isn't that the berries? I did, however, plant a healthier speciman last Fall in a more suitable spot... so perhaps the lamium will show itself this coming spring. If not. Well.
I can't grow painted daisies or epimedium. The former seem to disappear overnight and the latter just get smaller year by year until they disappear. The aquilegia self sows and seems to prefer the shadier corners. Shasta daisies I've taken to digging out the clumps and composting them. Thugs.
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