Achieving Happiness in Your Garden: The Eleventh Secret

Symphyotrichum novae-angliae 'Alma Potschke'
Before the festivities of Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, I attempted to post a secret I learned from the praying mantis. The garden fairies boldly intervened, however, and ripped the secret off the post.

I would like to thank everyone who posted about their blooms for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. You all provided a great resource for everyone to check out blooms across the country and around the world. I appreciate each and every post, even if I can no longer get to all of them. I try to get to as many as I can.

You also gave me some time to negotiate with the garden fairies to be allowed to post about this secret. They are not easy to negotiate with - they are garden fairies.

By my accounting this is the 11th secret to achieving happiness in your garden that I've discovered and shared. I published a separate page for the first five secrets and have posted  secrets six through ten. I have it on good authority that there are well over thirty secrets, enough to fill a small book.

But I digress. Without further ado, and with the permission of the garden fairies, I can now share the eleventh secret.

Try new plants.

That's it. Try new plants.

Often we gardeners get stuck in a rut and plant the same plants over and over and over and over and over. Ad nauseum. I've even heard that some garden designers will do the same thing and offer the same palette of twenty or so plants that they know and are comfortable with it. Over and over and over and over again.  They may use the excuse that these are their signature plants, or some such lazy nonsense like that.

Just imagine, though, how nice it is to plant something different. In my garden, I avoided red. Can you imagine? Now I have the beautiful aster, 'Alma Potschke', (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) just beginning to show its bright reddish-pink color in my garden and I couldn't be happier with it.

Across the way is the red flowering OSO EASY™ Cherry Pie rose, Rosa 'Meiboulka'.
OSO EASY™ Cherry Pie rose, Rosa 'Meiboulka'
Please note that I'm not converting my entire garden over to red flowers, but the few that I have will always remind me that one of the secrets to happiness in your garden is to try new plants. Branch out. Do it. Find a plant that you've never grown before, pick a color you've avoided, and plant them in your garden.

Or as in my case, listen to your garden designer and the hort-enabler when they push you to include new-to-you plants in your garden. You'll see. It will make you happy to have something new.

Try new plants.


  1. Those wacky fairies. But really, I think a lot of gardeners plant the same plants because that's all they can find from garden centers. The solution? Seeds! Alas, some of us need fairies to help with the seeds.

  2. Thanks to Thorn and the gang for allowing you to get this secret out into the blogdom! It is a good one, not just for new plants, but just to try new things, all your life.


  3. I try something new every year, This year it was Chervil in my herb garden. I bet I would have liked your red flowers better.

  4. This one's a no-brainer for me. I can't stop trying new plants. I want to grow them all! (Except for the orange ones.)

  5. The beauty of being a newbie is that so many plants are new to me. Some, of course, I know from my childhood garden, but most of the garden is trial-and-error, test-and-learn or however one might phrase it.

  6. I grew zinnias this year for the first time and now I am hooked - beautiful yet easy to grow.

  7. Dear Carol,
    your garden fairies are very kind and it´s a pleasure to share your garden secrets!
    Sorry, I have to correct you: it is "andenken an alma poEtschke", with OE ;-)
    I had this plant in my old garden, and it´s named after the mother of a german gardener, see this link:
    Wish you a wonderful weekend!

  8. Reading so many wonderful blogs and seeing the diversity of plants in gardens around the world inspires me to try new plants all the time. I also try to stay away from the typical plants that designers like to recommend just so that I can see plants other than what I see in all my neighbors' gardens.

  9. I have been accused by my sister that I am a specimen gardener. All plants need love and I like to get one of everything that can grow in my Zone 5 and as xeric as possible. So I am always on the lookout for new-to-me plants. I am still trying to find the poppy that will work with us and keep hoping that zinnias will find a toehold here.

  10. alma is a disappointment in my garden. she flops and shows her skirt even if i prune her to control height. New plants....huh. Just every month is all. lol.

  11. I find it hard not to try new plants - and your post has been a nudge to try some of those new OSO Easy roses,and some new colors of Knock Outs. They look pretty hardy.

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Post a Comment

Comments are to a blog what flowers are to a garden. Sow your thoughts here and may all your comments multiply as blooms in your garden.

Though there is never enough time to respond to each comment individually these days, please know that I do read and love each one and will try to reciprocate on your blog.

By the way, if you are leaving a comment just so you can include a link to your business site, the garden fairies will find it and compost it!