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Sunday, March 03, 2013

Devotion to one or more groups of plants

Clematis 'Pagoda'
"Specialising in a hobby of any kind greatly increases its interest, and in the culture of flowers it is desirable to devote oneself more especially to one or two groups of plants, though not to the exclusion of all others; for a garden devoted to one kind of flower only  lacks interest during a great part of the year."  (In My Lady's Garden by Mrs. Richmond, London: T Fisher Unwin, 1908)

Devote myself to one or two groups of plants?  I may need to work on that a bit.

My current interest is around Clematis, Helleborus, and Dianthus. It was mostly Clematis and Helleborus but then I heard that a common name of Dianthus, carnations, is gilliflower, so I'm suddenly more interested in them, too.

I am also interested in zinnias, sunflowers, marigolds, sweet peas, and other annual flowers that are generally planted in and around my vegetable garden to add color and draw in butterflies, bees, and in the case of sunflowers, eventually birds. 

When it is time to order bulbs for spring flowers, I tend to devote most of my time to Crocus, Iris reticulata, and Tulipa, the species kind. But I have also planted daffodils, hyacinths, and many other "minor bulbs".

Of course, I also enjoy seeing in my garden anything in the Viola group, including wild violets, johnny-jump ups, pansies, and any other Viola sp. including Viola banskii which I am growing as a house plant. 

Did I mention that amongst daylilies, Hemerocallis, I prefer the spider types? I hesitate to say I specialize in them. It is more like I focus in on the spider types so that I don't get lost in the thousands of varieties of daylilies currently available.  I have several in my garden and will add more as I find them.

I could go on, but it is clearly apparent that I seem to be specializing in that group of plants known as the angiosperms, though for interest, I also grow gymnosperms, ferns, and mosses.

Whew, I'm glad I've got my devotion to one or two groups of plants figured out.  It makes plant shopping that much easier when one has focus. 


Christys Cottage Wildlife Garden said...

My one garden specialty is "anything pretty". This really makes shopping easy!! :-)

Lydia said...

Flowers? If this counts as a group of plants, I can focus):-

leslieanne said...

Ha! I was ganna share my list but since it is pretty much the same as yours, I figure why waste space. I might just add trailing lantana in all the latest colors cos they're able to take months of high humidity and temps over 100 in full sun all day.

Helen Malandrakis said...

I have as many hydrangea as I can in my small garden If I had more room, I would have more. I love daylilies, too.

The Gardening Shoe said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you're focusing on the photosynthesising group of plants ;-)

Hannah said...

I also like species Tulips, the ones that have endured a long time in my garden are T. praestans unicum, and T. batalinii Bright Gem, and I think Little Princess. Others disappointed in not returning.

I tend to change plant interests nearly yearly in aspects of concentrating on a certain genus every year, like this year it is Solidago for me, with 6 plant varieties coming and 2 I'm trying from seed. Then I add to some of my collections if a new interesting plant comes along. Some of my current favorites are hardy geraniums- newest Rozanne, Geums- newest Cookie and Mango Lassi, Achillea, Agastache- great from seed, Limnanthes, Phlox, Primulas, and some perennial Dianthus. Vegetables are essential collectibles, mainly beans and tomatoes. Older collections were roses, Vinca, daylilies (once 380 varieties), apples, cherries, raspberries, pears. Some things I collected are totally gone from my garden now, they didn't last so I gave up on them, like Caryopteris and Corydalis. But it's all fun.

Helen said...

I share your interest, but tend to focus on the ones that live.