Impending move leads to garden decisions

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I have succumbed to looking at seed catalogues, but I am probably wasting my time. My family and I will be moving this summer so anything I might plant from seed would be left behind and I would be unable to see it grow and flower (or not, which is sometimes the case).  

We will be moving within our community to a property with abundant flowers and trees, but I suspect there are a few perennials I will want to take along. And that is the beauty of perennials. I can take a small chunk of the plant along with me and still leave something behind for the new owners of my home to enjoy.  

As this move has been a long time in the works, I have had ample opportunity to consider what perennials cannot be left behind and those to which I will be only too happy to bid farewell.

Let’s first consider the ones that won’t be making the journey.

Stella d’Oro daylilies, like all their kin, are hardy to a fault. They form thick, lush bunches quickly and rebloom throughout the growing season, but I am sick of them. They’re not going. The green and white hosta, whose name I don’t know, that is always the first to be eaten up by slugs and looks ratty through most of the summer, will also be left behind. I’ve worked steadily through the years to pull it up and compost it, but never seem to remove it all. Obedient Plant, so named because its blossoms can be repositioned easily on its stem, not because it behaves in an orderly, well-mannered way, won’t be coming along either.

I’ve also become disillusioned with sea holly. I eagerly snapped it up at a plant sale a few years ago, having seen numerous photos in gardening magazines of its unusual, spiky, blue blooms. In my garden it blooms, but also flops. It easily reaches three feet in height, but won’t remain vertical without support and I don’t have patience with plants that need to be coddled. This sort of behaviour might indicate soil that is too rich, but I can’t think that is the case in this particular bed. I may simply have purchased an older cultivar with a tendency to weak stems, which has since been improved upon.

A few daylilies from my garden will make their way to the new house. Kwanzaa, a tall, orange daylily with a double blossom, has proven itself worthy of taking as has a red one and another in a lovely shade of pink.

I’ll also take along Silver Thaw, a white daylily provided to the Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs (NSAGC) members a few years ago. Cornflower is another I’ll bring along. It’s a very common perennial, but in my garden it’s special because it provides early, reliable colour and I like it as a cut flower. Clustered bellflower, the rich purple-blue variety which blooms later in the summer, is worth digging up, too, as is its cousin, the peachleaf bellflower that blooms near my clothesline.  

Last spring, I purchased a Japanese anemone that I have yet to see bloom so it must come along and it is valuable for the colour it should bring to my garden next fall.

What plants from your garden would you be unable to leave behind? It’s a worthwhile exercise to consider which plants in your garden have performed reliably and with little care, providing colour when its needed or hanging on into the fall when little else is blooming. Don’t waste your time with plants that don’t deserve your care and attention when there are so many others that do.  

Patti Sharpe is a resident of Great Village. She is a member of the Great Village Garden Club and the Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs. She has a lifelong passion for gardening.

sharpep@eastlink.ca

Organizations: Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs, Great Village Garden Club

Geographic location: Great Village

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