Monday, May 19, 2008
Are You Running Out Of Room in Your Garden?
Elizabeth Lawrence wrote in an August 18, 1957 column for the Charlotte Observer...
“This year I indulged in a bulb of the celebrated N. ‘Kings Court’, which is considered the best yellow trumpet for exhibitions. I had been watching it since 1948, when it was fifteen dollars, and for the first time it was down to my price, a dollar and a half. But the saddest thing happened. There are no longer choice spots left in my garden for choice flowers, and I had to put N. ‘Kings Court’ in the background. And then, with everything in bloom at once, I couldn’t find it. When at last I tracked it down, under the Japanese apricot (Prunus mume), the flowers were all faded. And now I shall have to wait.”
When I’m out buying new plants, I think I have plenty of room for them, but when I get home, I find myself doing that waltz around the garden trying to figure out where to stick the new plant.
Mine is not always a space problem as much as it is choosing the right spot the first time.
Wait, I do have a space problem when it comes to shade-loving plants. I don’t have enough shade on my suburban lot, yet. This lack of shade ensures I am attracted to hostas, astilbes and other shade loving plants when I'm at the garden center. I still buy these shade loving plants, but I end up putting short ones behind tall ones, planting some too close together, or worse, planting them in part sun locations where they suffer a bit. And yes, I’ve misplaced a few along the way, and outright lost some of them.
But I do have room for sun loving plants.
Last fall, I was looking for a place to plant Oxalis adenophylla bulbs, which are pretty small as plants go, and I ended up planting them in places where you have to look to find them among other foliage and groundcovers. In fact, I had to look around for quite awhile before I finally found them.
That’s too bad, because they have a pretty bloom. So I’ll be moving them to a more suitable location at some point. The big decision is… move them now when they have foliage or wait and dig up the bulbs in the fall and move them then.
If I wait to dig up the bulbs, I probably won’t find them or I'll forget about them, so I think I’ll move them now with foliage. They’ll be perfect in the miniature garden, with all my other miniature plants.
Do you have any misplaced flowers hiding in your garden?
The quote above is from the book Beautiful at All Seasons: Southern Gardening and Beyond with Elizabeth Lawrence, edited by Ann L. Armstrong and Lindie Wilson, chosen to be the April-May selection of the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club. All are welcome to join the book club by reading this book or any book by Elizabeth Lawrence and then posting a book review, your own insights on her writings, etc. on your blog before May 31st. Then I’ll publish a “virtual meeting” post on May 31st with links to all the relevant posts.
You can look at the virtual meeting post from March 31st to get a general idea of how the book club works.
I hope you’ll join me in reading some of Elizabeth Lawrence’s writings before the end of the month. Many gardeners who have read her writings agree that if she were alive today, Lawrence would likely be a garden blogger!
If you post a review, please let me know via a comment or email, so I can find it and include it.