Death Notices and Lamentable Losses

>> Friday, October 15, 2010

As much as we gardeners try to do our best to nurture the plants in our care so that they can become the fully beautiful plants that is their heritage, sometimes things will happen that can best be described as ‘out of our control’. Then again, things happen that we could have controlled if only we had paid a little closer attention.

While reviewing my master list of plants I have come to realize that some plants simply did not survive this past summer. One of my favorites was an Achillea Angels Breath. Here it is in happier, healthier times, living harmoniously with its neighbors. Enjoying the sun, the feeding and the care that I was able to give it. Both of us totally unsuspecting of the terror that the Nepeta Walkers Low would soon visit upon it.

I should have seen the warning signs, the gentle but insistent nudging seemed playful at first, but soon the aggressive nature that is the Nepeta nature was soon apparent, as shown here. But, alas, I was sadly distracted at a critical time by other more pressing issues that took me away from the garden and the doomed plight of the Achillea was sealed. Achillea, my hapless friend, you will be missed.

Another poor unfortunate victim to my careless and barbarous neglect is this Arabis Snowcap. This beautiful specimen was a victim of a devastating and fatal cycle of drying out and over-watering. Imagine, thriving beautifully for two years, full of the promise that comes with knowing you have a full, fruitful life ahead of you only to be drowned by an overzealous garden hose. Oh the humanity. Arabis Snowcap, I hardly knew ye.

And then there is the demure, fragile Armeria Lauchean. Also fallen victim to poor hydration practices.

But, there is redemption on the horizon, my good friends. I have vowed to mend my ways. I have taken a solemn oath to never again place unfair expectations upon a plant by forcing it to survive in conditions beyond its limits. No more will I be timid in the time-honored practice of judicious and timely pruning of aggressive growers, forcing them to ‘play nice’ with their neighbors. Early next spring boundaries will be observed and plant supports will be erected. No more will those tame and timid growers be crowded out by their aggressive neighbors.

Meanwhile, I think a bit of transplanting is in order and from now on when I read descriptions of plants I will pad their width dimensions by about 10-15% just to be on the safe side.

Losing plants before their time, especially due to my mishandling, is just too hard on my psyche.


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