Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Land of Misfit Plants

There's an area at the back of our yard where we've been putting plants over the last few years that, for one reason or another, did not stand much of a chance.  They're in the back of the yard because they won't be unsightly to anyone but us while they struggle to succeed.   

In the spring we split a hibiscus from my in laws, which did quite well in another part of the yard, but a little nub that fell off the root base of the transplant went into "The Land of Misfit Plants," and yesterday it bloomed.

If you look closely at the bottom leaves, you can see that this success is despite a caterpillar attack earlier in the season.  The other plant is a 4 x 4 shrub already, so I expect this will grow to be the same size.  This is a photo of the other plant from about a month ago, as it was just starting to bloom.

That would really help to fill out the right side of the Land of Misfit Plants.  The left side is thriving.  There's a hydrangea over there that came to us two years ago as a short stick with no leaves on it, the remains of a potted plant my sister received as a gift.  We figured we'd plant it and see what happens, and this year we had dozens of flowers.
That's apple mint guarding the hydrangea, with some other perennial herbs we moved from the vegetable garden at the beginning of the season.  Things are actually getting a bit crowded over there.  Here's the left side of The Land yesterday.
To the right of the blue hydrangea there are two pee gee hydrangeas, which we only discovered when we cut down a couple of stumps in a shady area, and one of them produced a flower.  Off to The Land of Misfit Plants they went, where they have been making steady progress, despite the deer's fondness for their buds.

The right side of The Land is still struggling to fill out.
That's sedum flopping over in the middle there.  How on earth do I get it to stay upright?

And, just behind the rock wall, there are three lilacs we moved last fall from a shady spot, hoping that they'll flower some day. 
There were actually two lilac shrubs, and another nub that fell off, but seems to be making a go of it. 
This year all they did was accumulate a mold problem, but next year should be better.  The goal is for them to fill out enough to conceal the compost behind them. 

It's The Land of Misfit Plants that keeps me going.  When flea beetles eat the arugula and the holly is covered in a black sticky film, I look to these little nubs that turn into plants and I remember that plants want to grow, and they will if you give them time, and a little attention. 

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