Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Never say never

For the most part I conform to all the rules that gardening demands.  I don't plant trees that grow to big near buildings, I apply fertilizer to my lawn in the spring and fall and I keep my pruners nice and clean!  What a good gardener I am.  

However, on the subject of plants I stray from the recommended and start to push my luck with what I'm told will grow here.  I know it frustrates my boss, resulting in phone calls regarding my latest shipment of shrubs I've brought in but life can be a bore if you stick to the rules.  I have been pleasantly surprised with some of my successes while also proven overly bold with others, (RIP Indian Hawthorn).  At least with my experimentation I've learned what will work so that I can tell customers as well as what to steer clear of.

Just recently I managed to acquire at beauty that was familiar to me back in England, to road test here in Virginia, Ceanothus 'Blue Jeans' or California Lilac.  It’s listed as a zone 8 but recommended as the most adaptable of all the west coast Ceanothus.  Potentially a large fella with a combined height and spread measuring 6ft in any direction the light blue flowers set against glossy miniature holly-like foliage would have tempted anyone to squeeze one in somewhere.  Of course like any serious gardener I have to play musical chairs moving plants around to accommodate new acquisitions.  Then those plants evicted need new homes leading to a new others being shuffled around too.  I consider my garden to be of 'fluid design' or 'evolving' as my taste and intentions change.  Thank god I back onto a relatively boring common area to give a last chance to the displaced although some have made it back with a promise that it will not happen again.

Although this plant was given as a sample, my other boss (one cannot have to many bosses) claims that nothing in live is free.  Too true a word spoken as my clay soil will need to be cultivated to provide the Ceanothus with adequate drainage.  Soon it will become a $20 plant in a $50 hole if you place a value on it.  Still the potential sweet taste of victory, should I succeed, will be priceless in bragging rights if any of my bosses even know what a Ceanothus really is!

No comments:

Post a Comment