Oh, this is the joy of the rose--that it blooms and goes.
- Willa Cather
Viewing entries tagged Sedum acre
I’m definitely in my yellow period now. The blues and purples of Forget-me-nots and Phlox are memories; the pinks of Rhododendrons and Laurels have faded now, too. Every year in June I notice a pattern of yellows across the garden. It brings light and cheer to the yard and draws the eye along. Right now the Ladies’ Mantle (Alchemilla mollis) is at its peak, spilling lemon froth over the edges of the borders. I love this plant for both its rain-catching foliage and its ethereal flowers.
Next are the yellow Foxgloves (Digitalis ambigua), which are peppered around the garden and have been in flower for about three weeks. The Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium) has opened early, and though its tiny, daisy-like flowers are white, their buttery centers pick up the theme. A sunny sprinkling of Loosetrife (Lysimachia punctata) and Sundrops (Oenothera fruticosa) beckons me further. Sedum acre sprawls across the rock garden and is just starting to become a sea of yellow.
These plants now in bloom tie in with the yellow Corydalis (Corydalis lutea) whose flowers are a given from April to October. And I haven’t even mentioned the golden foliage of the Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’), some of the Hostas (H. 'Guacamole' is a favorite), the Golden Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’) and the golden Chamaecyparis that anchor the beds. One last and lesser known golden shrub is Forsythia 'Gold Leaf'. This cultivar doesn't bloom as generously as the traditional green plant, but its foliage makes up for that.
The yellows compliment the green background, of course, but they also look great with blue, as in the glaucus foliage of Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ and H. ‘Blue Angel’. And they bring drama to the burgundy of Heuchera micrantha ‘Palace Purple.’ They even flatter the hot pinks of Astilbes (A. arendsii ‘Rhythm and Blues’) and Impatiens. In fact, with yellow foliage, who needs flowers at all?
Tags: shade gardening, CT gardening, gardening in zone 6, gardening in the Northeast, Gardening in New England, organic gardening, Phlox divaricata, Myosotis sylvatica, Forget-Me-Not, Alchemilla mollis, Ladies' Mantle, Sedum acre, Sundrops, Oenothera fruticosa, Chrysanthemum parthenium, Feverfew, Chamaecyparis, Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola', Japanese Forest Grass, Corydalis lutea, Hosta 'Guacamole', Astilbe arendsii 'Rhythm and Blues', Astilbe arendsii, Astilbe, H. micrantha 'Palace purple', Heuchera micrantha, Hosta 'Blue Angel', Hosta sieboldiana 'Elegans', Hosta, Digitalis ambigua, perennial Foxglove, Foxglove, Golden Creeping Jenny, Loosestrife, Lysimachia punctata, Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea', gold foliage, yellow
As gardeners, we share a reverence for plant life, for the miracle that transforms a tiny seed into something as substantial and sturdy as a tree or as ephemeral and delicate as a lady slipper orchid. We nurture and watch, wait and hope, tend and treat each plant on our property to bring it to its fullest potential and beauty. Many of us even talk to them.
Which is why we are so reluctant to give up on any plant. To dig it up, throw it away and admit failure. I am here to give you official permission to draw the line, to call it quits when a plant is causing more misery than it is pleasure. When nursing and feeding and spraying do not result in an attractive, healthy specimen, you have the right to cut your losses and remove it.
I hereby grant you freedom from guilt, a license to kill.
Tags: chrysanthemum, poinsettia, Sedum acre, gardener's guilt, license to kill plants, unhappy plants
New gardeners find this especially difficult, but experience teaches us perspective and we become more comfortable with the power we have to destroy.
• I finally gave up on the American holly that I had nursed through recurring fungal diseases for 15 (!$#%#!) years. It demanded so much of my gardening time, looked so spindly and showed no signs of recovery, so this spring I decreed its demise. It’s been removed and replaced with a graceful Cryptomeria japonica and I have no guilt or regrets. It was the wrong plant in the wrong place and all my efforts to change that were futile. I just hope the replacement settles in happily.
• My friend Debora and I admitted to each other that we love our Sedum Acre, which spreads among impossible rocky crevices, but we also yank it out by the handfuls. When it intrudes where we don’t want it, we love the fact that it is so easy to pull. Just because a plant volunteers somewhere doesn’t mean we have to accept it.
• Next year, toss that spent poinsettia into the compost in February, and buy yourself a new one for the next holiday season! (I know for a fact that even some accomplished professionals do this.) Consider this with fall chrysanthemums, too. The nurseries have perfected the growing conditions and pruning schedules to maximize plants like these. We at home will never be able to achieve such results.
Think of it this way, as a wise mentor once told me, every empty space is an opportunity!
Replace the offending plant with something that will thrive in that location, that will inspire more happiness than worry, that will not demand so much time and effort that you cannot tend or enjoy the rest of your garden.
And remember, Nature Creates; Gardeners Edit.