Friday, January 20, 2017

It's Not My Elevation

At four thousand plus feet, there they were fat and happy, vibrant Yellow Twig Dogwood which have so far refused to grow for me with any serious intent of becoming a plant of substance.

I've tried red, yellow and a variegated red from rooted and unrooted stem pieces. They all have dropped dead or pouted. I was thinking they may not like my elevation. Now I see that can't be.

Elevation is one factor. There is sun and shade, soil and moisture and a big one for me is competition. With many things I plant, it is a game of wait and see. Will they like it up here? Thankfully the Witch Hazels do.

They aren't growing fast, but they are healthy and happy.

Plant by plant as I find the winners, a garden grows.

One red Twig Dogwood is trying, but my patience has worn out and a decision was made to form a solid Doghobble hedge. It took three years I think to get to this from a rooted stem piece. Now it will be moved.

If it isn't my elevation, what is it? They certainly won't root as stuck stems as advertised. Maybe my rooted starts need to be a bit further along. I will give it one more try.

I want this kind of color and action in the barren time. The vibrant colored stems of the dogwoods were part of that plan.

This sure ain't Maui where beating back the bushes with a machete is normal by year three. Now after five years I am finally beginning to see a garden take form. Granted this garden has been planted in slow incremental stages over those years. Still my elevation seems to be adding a few more years of creep before the leap sets in.

I woke this morning unrested and in pain. The cat banging on the wooden blinds did not help. She got tossed. The real problem was I over did it at four thousand feet plus yesterday.

Thirty years now of hand pruning and power tools has caused intermittent neuropathy in my right hand and arm. I pruned a near forty foot long hedge of Burning Bush yesterday one fat stem at a time with my Corona hand pruners. Today I was paying for it with painful numbness and tingling traveling well up my arm.

I took it easy today with a nice walk in the morning sun after a night of rain.

I saw snowdrops, but there are many many more yet to come.

After a nice nap in which I found that avoiding sleeping on my side in any way did nothing to help with the neuropathy, bummer, adding more rocks to the heiau seemed like a good idea. It would not involve a clipping or pruning action. That can't hurt.

Yes, the ground beneath the heiau is that sloped. It will take quite a few more rocks and eventually a flat top to give the impression of a symmetrical solid structure. I wish the rocks were not so far away these days.

Way up high on the low spot a garden slowly grows. I'm not sure if you can call it a setback when something refuses to grow. I learned a long time ago a gardener can only make suggestions. With time the suggestions get better. With lust they get risky. With the red and yellow twigged dogwoods, I'm hoping I just need better starts.


Lisa Greenbow said...

maybe you should get the Biltmore Redtwig dogwood shrub. It was created up in the higher elevations and maybe it would grow better for you. It has pretty chartreuse leaves during summer too. It seems easy to grow and fairly fast. Well, I didn't really watch the time but it is a healthy grower.

Christopher C. NC said...

My problem Lisa is I don't like to spend money on a plant that should grow like a weed and be available out of a client's garden for free. I may try rooting some stems in water with some rooting hormone. Or maybe I could buy one of the Biltmore's and propogate from that.