The longer I garden here, the more I realize this garden is not for the meek or fussy. Between the vigorous competition and weather extremes, a hardy constitution is a necessity. Problem is, I don't know who those plants are until I give them a test run...or two.
Trilliums apparently are not meek or fussy. The variegated red twig dogwood on the other hand does only one notch better than cling to life. It takes a known thug like Iris pseudacorus to compete with the Lush.
I had high hopes for the Camassia. The verdict is still out. This is only their first spring in the garden.
I made an error when I bought them. I went for one hundred bulbs at a better price than ten for more money. I did not pay enough attention to size. The camassia I got are miniatures. I thought the bulbs were awful small when I planted them.
On the first day of May, the bloom spikes do not rise above the baby Lush. Unless they self sow and multiply dramatically, it will never amount to much of a show.
I hope the liatris blooms more this year. My repeated attempts to add blue, purple and lavender colors keep coming up short.
Can an orchid be tough? I have relocated three Showy Orchis. They have all survived and immediately gained heft and new crowns. Their biggest threat seems to be deer.
The seed flinging I did years ago of the False Solomon's Seal, Maianthemum racemosum, has finally resulted in mature blooming plants. I know they like it here and will form extensive colonies.
Two Calycanthus floridus came from a neighbor's garden in the Kingdom of Madison. They have done quite well. They are loaded with blooms this year.
I stuck my nose in there and drifted off to Maui. They smell like very ripe bananas with a hint of mango and rotten heliconia stems. They are said to sucker a lot. These haven't done that yet to any real extent.
The Plume Poppy, Macleya cordata, is supposed to be a suckering thug too. I am still waiting. I found one stem about two feet away from where it was planted this week. It has gone from one stem to about ten in three years. Heft wise I have been disappointed. If I did not weed around it, it would get lost in the Lush.
Hosta are tough and reliable when the voles don't remove the entire root system. They have to be weeded around. Otherwise, the competition would weaken them significantly.
I did a major editing around all my winter under garden evergreens and many of the other cultivated plants today before the Lush swallows them up and I can't find them. Losing access to sun light is a big problem for the short and less vigorous.
One rooted twig piece has finally become a blooming shrub. This is the first bloom I have had on the Doublefile Viburnum. Their biggest problem is leafing out to soon and getting zapped by late freezes.
Even I am impressed. The basement patio turned out beautifully. I sat down many times between rounds of editing and passing showers.
Joe Pye is tough. Joe Pye is going to break out of the planting pocket this year I bet. The planting pocket was created around Joe Pye without any extra space.
One would think Baptisia would be as tough as Joe Pye. In proper mulched beds, Baptisia is a monster. In competition with the Lush, it is a couple of wimpy stems.
A 'Purple Arctic Blaze' Salvia slipped into the planting pocket. It says it is a perennial to zone 6. We'll see about that.
I don't do bedding plants in the wild cultivated gardens. They would never survive. But when I do, I go for black petunias and put them in a pot. There will be no pink petunias.