Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Remember Jeep (and Anemone nemorosa 'Bracteata Pleniflora')

The above clump of Cardamine trifolia represents seven years of growth.

I planted three Anemone nemorosa 'bracteata pleniflora eight years ago. Here they are today. Now that is slow! Click on the picture to get a better view of the amazing flowers.

Although I am not a particularly organized person I have had considerable enjoyment from records I kept of the plants I acquired in the twelve years I have been gardening at my current home. I refer back to those records on a regular basis for many reasons. For example, I photographed a clump of Cardamine trifolia this spring that I seem to have had forever, and yet it is still a smallish clump. A quick search found that I bought it from the now defunct version of Heronswood Nursery seven years ago, so look at the picture and judge for yourself, but I think that is one slow growing groundcover! Another photograph this spring evoked a similar curiosity. My Anemone nemorosa 'Brachteata Pleniflora' (which I coincidentally also bought from Heronswood)has finally emerged from the status of a tiny little whisper of plants to an actual clump (see image above). That bit of progress took eight years.

I also enjoy reminiscing over plants that are no longer with me because they didn't survive(it's a humiliatingly large number), or because I had to frantically eradicate them (e.g. Campanula punctata, Salvia forskaohlei, and Knautia macedonica come to mind), because they were taking over the garden. It is also interesting to see the relative success I have had with various nurseries. I recently observed, for example, that while I have acquired some particularly unusual and successful plants from one specialty nursery, which is famous for letting you figure out for yourself where their plants will grow, a large majority of the plants I bought from them did not make it. I decided that their already high cost was too high when the attrition rate is factored in. I have also found the records to be particularly satisfying in reminding me of those special plants that have been given to me and have found a suitable home in my garden. I like to remember the people and the friendship when I think of their plants. Sometimes it is years before I realize I want to buy more of a particularly successful plant, so it is useful to know where I bought them originally, and when I lose the labels I have at least a fighting chance of figuring out what the full name of the now unidentified plants are. Record keeping may be a bore, but these records of mine have expanded my gardening pleasure and success significantly.

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