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Garden Talk: What kind of Gardner

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HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 18, 2008
5:57 PM

Post #5123212


doesn’t even know her own plants.???????
Recently returned from a 3 week trip and terribly behind on my weeding, that is the question I keep asking my self. For years I planted annuals here and there among my trees, bushes and a few well known perennials. But in the last few years I have expanded both my garden beds and my plant choices. Taking advantage of the great Dave’s Garden Co-ops and the many Plant Swaps and Trades I have moved out of my comfort zone and into the realm of unknown. How can I tell if that cute little plant is really a beautiful wild flower or a nasty weed? Will I remember next year that this pretty little Verbascum “Dark Eyes” was planted here or will I look at the fuzzy leaves that somewhat remind me of the Comfrey seedlings that have wandered far from their spot and pull it. Yes, I know that is the Tall Phlox that I planted and marked this spring. But there is that nasty weed that grows in some of my beds looks very similar and will I somewhere down the line start pulling it out by mistake?
And we haven’t even started talking about those questionable seeds I planted before I left, or those wonderful self seeding plants. Sigh……..

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eyesoftexas
Toadsuck, TX
(Zone 7a)

June 19, 2008
4:39 PM

Post #5127991

I think we all have encountered that at one time or another. Time and patience will tell...when I'm in doubt, since I am a crammer, I let them grow just enough to tell if it's a bud , leaf, or bloom that I recognize, and then I cull them.

"eyes"
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 20, 2008
3:09 PM

Post #5132898

Thanks "eyes" for commenting on my musings. I know with time and practice I will become more and more familiar with the new plants and here at DG there is always help. But as I was out weeding the theme "weed or what" came so often to my mind this year. Just letting them grow for a while is exactly what I have been doing with a few of these questionable plants. I do quite often mark my new plants in some way but more than often I think I will remember but of course I never do. I've also started mapping my beds but so far I have only mapped one of them and it will need to be redone since I am enlarging it and adding plants. LOL
Everyone is welcome to add their own thoughts and musings. If you have ever asked the question What kind of Gardner...
dguimo
Pioneer, CA

June 21, 2008
11:12 PM

Post #5139492

I love that flower-- what is it? My problem isn't so much -what is a weed, but what is a wild flower. So many little plants that I thought were weeds are actually beautiful wild flowers when they grow up. I think it takes a long time and a lot of research to learn all ot this "stuff", but it's fun!
golddog
Western, PA
(Zone 6a)

June 22, 2008
12:41 AM

Post #5139829

I like to keep a list of all plants in the yard; scientific names only. Each morning I visit each and every member of the garden and call them by name. If one labels every plant then it is difficult to remember their names.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 22, 2008
3:09 AM

Post #5140507

WOW Golddog, I am sure I will never know the scientific names. Just trying to keep track of the common name is hard enough. But I do agree with you quite often marking them makes it easy to not bother learning them. The ones that I do mark help me keep track of where some of my plants are esp things like bulbs that will need to be dug up later on. Also I read the tags as I work around the plants which helps me remember what is where. I am working on lists of my plants also.
Dguimno, Yes some of the "weeds" can have some very pretty flowers on them. I have one that has the prettiest little blue flowers but it is filling up my beds grows thru the grass and is attacking my veggie garden. I pull it out by the basket fulls. Then I found that someone was actually selling it as a ground cover. Just think of the money I could have made. LOL
bluekat76
Ijamsville, MD
(Zone 6b)

June 22, 2008
3:31 AM

Post #5140603

My Joe Pye weed made it to the weed pile - 4 bucks into the compost pile. Live and learn.
golddog
Western, PA
(Zone 6a)

June 22, 2008
1:18 PM

Post #5141746

Herbaceous perennials need to be judged on their appearance not only while blooming but after bloom as well.

Spring blooming perennials often have that ragged look through the season, while fall bloomers look good the entire season.
UniQueTreasures
Beaumont, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 22, 2008
2:43 PM

Post #5142168

I'm terrible about remembering the names of plants. Especially that first year that I'm growing it.

I don't bring any plants inside for our laughable winter, but I do cram all of my pots onto my deck and haphazardly cover it with plastic. When Spring rolls around and it's time to bring out all of those pots, I'm bamboozled at what was growing in them, especially in my mixed container plantings.

One thing that I have found helpful is to take plenty of photos when everything is in bloom. Not only close ups of the plants, but long shots showing everything there. I also take photos of my container plants and label them with the names from Dave's PlantFiles.

Last year I bought a few lovely caladiums. I kept waiting for them to pop up and was watching the wrong pots. When I went browsing through my photos, I remembered that I'd planted them in with my Japanese Maple and sure enough, when I looked in that pot, their little heads were poking up through the soil.

I also leave pretty weeds until I realize they are TRULY weeds. Then I pull them. Sometimes I regret it when the seeds have already scattered. :/

Janet
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 22, 2008
3:39 PM

Post #5142397

I take pictures like that too. I have close up's of the blooming plants and shots of the whole bed at different times of the year. Also the more I tend my plants the more acquainted with them I get, but with me getting so many new plants in such a short time I'm really having trouble with them especially right now with the new ones planted last year and the self seeding plants are wonderful. I get more and more plants without any work or expense but "God only knows how many of those I have weeded". LOL
tinabeana
Greenville, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 24, 2008
12:09 PM

Post #5151426

HollyAnn, your weed with the blue flowers sounds like periwinkle (Vinca major or Vinca minor). My yard was covered with it when we bought this house, and I always pull up the Vinca major by the wheelbarrow full. Apparently in some areas it's not nearly so effective as a ground cover (that's polite talk for invasive!), so I've put it on my trade list for those that want it.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 24, 2008
3:24 PM

Post #5152261

No not Periwinkle, I have tons of that growing under my pines and I also have the Vinca Major, too.

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