Saturday, May 31, 2014


Garden, late May

This has been a bit of an odd spring for me and my garden.  After my area's coldest winter in 20 years, here it is the last day of May and I'm still waiting to see what survived and what didn't.  Many plants that I thought for certain were dead and gone are finally showing signs of life, so in the meantime I'm trying not to disturb plants that may or may not be alive.  For example, just a few days ago I decided to transplant something, and accidentally uncovered a begonia that was sending up a strong new shoot from deep underground.   Just this morning I discovered hardy elephant ear Colocasia 'Pink China' finally coming up, and two new shoots on my hardy banana (Musa basjoo).

So I'm holding off a bit on planting new plants, although it's killing me not to fill the gaps left in my garden by dead or badly damaged plants.  (You can see in the photo above my recovering windmill palm at lower left, and a seemingly dead fig at upper right).   I've also lost much of my shade, so I'm not certain where to plant the gazillion potted begonias from my breeding program that need to get into the ground soon.  My window to get everything planted, before summer heat, humidity, and mosquitoes make gardening unbearable, is rapidly closing.  At what point should I declare plants dead and plant new ones in their place?

It will be quite a while before my garden is anywhere near back to normal, and it will look nothing like last year's garden.  That's the nature of this hobby; every year is different, and our creations grow and change, sometimes in the ways we planned but often in ways we never expected. 


  1. It's so hard to leave those holes! I had to just go for it and dig some things out that might have come back, I'm impatient and have a tour coming through in July. On the other hand if it was in a spot where I could just cut back the dead and leave it alone I've been pleasantly surprised at what has come back. I doubt it's any consolation but your garden looks pretty darn fabulous in that photo!

    1. I don't expect to let anybody see my garden this year; if I do, it won't be until August or September when things have filled in a bit! BTW I thought I had finally seen everything that had survived, but just found yet another begonia (one of my own hybrids) poking up.