July 11th, 2004

My tastes aren’t really this black or white. So I’ve had to annotate my responses. What I like and what I can do are very different things. Learning to work with the conditions you live in is the easiest way to successful gardening.

A quiz from Bookish Gardener.

1. Lilies: oriental or asiatic?
I love the heady scent of oriental lilies, but they don’t grow well here. I have to grow them in a planter and bring them indoors in the summer. I like LA hybrid asiatics, which so far have come back year after year.
2. No-till or till?
I like to dig in the dirt; but not with machines.
3. Bare hands or garden gloves?
Touch and texture are very important to me.
4. Garden tchotchkes, no or yes?
5. Clay or sand?
This isn’t a preference; it’s just the way it is on the Blackland prairie.
6. Shrub roses or hybrid teas?
Of the list, this is my most marked preference. I’ve spent the last three years integrating shrub roses into the yard.
7. Hollyhocks: single or double?
Can’t grow them.
8. Foliage: gray or glaucous?
9. Hemerocallis: flava or fulva?
10. Impatiens: double or single?
11. Calendula or tagetes?
12. Arborvitae or juniper?
13. Spaded edge or “edging“?
Our St. Augustine grass runs, so it’s hard to keep it neat by edging it. However, I like this look very much in other people’s gardens. In the English gardens I’ve visited, it’s very impressive looking.
14. Asters or mums?
15. Reflecting pool or coursing waterfall?
16. Morning glory blue or forget-me-not blue?
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a forget-me-not (I’d remember, wouldn’t I?) In Texas, the question would be bluebonnet blue or plumbago blue. And the answer would always be bluebonnet blue.
17. Lettuce: leaf or cos?
18. Hyacinth bean or red runner bean?
Only by default; never grown the other.
19. Orange or pink?
20. Garden bed shapes: formal or informal?
I started out informal and that’s been a mess. So the garden design is becoming more formal as it progresses. I love Japanese gardens, but wouldn’t try to make one in Texas. However, I do try to apply some of the principals.
21. Garden bed planting schemes: informal or formal?
Informal. I believe in the underlying scheme has strong lines then its planting can be a bit loose and soft.
22. Hydrangeas: lace-cap or mophead?
Can’t grow them.
23. Spirea japonica: dried flowerheads standing over the winter or in bloom?
What dried flower heads? Do yours bloom to frost? Ours quit in March and frost isn’t until December, usually. If this question was about ornamental grass, I’d say, dried.
24. Japanese beetle drowning medium: kerosene or dishsoap solution?
Whatever beetles we have, it’s dishsoap for them. I’d never use kerosene in my garden.
25. Garden stroll time: dusk or dawn?
Both. Just get out of the garden by 10AM and don’t go back in before 7PM down here in the summer.

by M Sinclair Stevens

2 Responses to post “Bandwagon”

  1. From Kathy (New York):

    Spirea in March and no Japanese beetles: it’s mind-boggling! I guess Texas really is a different country. In my garden I get snow-drops in March and crocus if it’s a good year. Otherwise it’s snow or mud. And our first frost is mid-September.

  2. From Don:

    And rosemary is a perennial. I miss clumps of rosemary in my garden.

    But of course, there are fire ants and killer bees.