All Things Gardening forum: Plant diversity and the healthy garden

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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Jan 9, 2015 6:11 PM CST
I was just out in the frigid cold with the dog and looking around the gardens while she did her thing, thinking about spring and where new plants could fit in. I was reflecting a bit on the journey the garden has taken me on the last few years, and how my gardening practices have changed, lessons I've learned.

Roses had always been a major design element in my garden, until about 7 years ago, when I discovered my first case of Rose Rosette virus, which eventually took about half of my Roses. As I was watching the roses picked off one by one, I was also seeing the same with another beloved flower, Lilies. I had gotten some bulbs infected with Lily Mosaic Virus from a co op of Holland bulbs. I was already having a depressing time personally, so the garden typically being a source of uplift, also became rather depressing. I think that had a lot to do with my practically abandoning the garden for a couple of years.

In the time since, of reclaiming the gardens, and now moving forward with plans I'd already had in place, I'm now at a much more peaceful place with it. While reclaiming the gardens, I was so inspired by all the survivors, so many tenacious and beautiful plants that still bloomed their hearts out among the weeds. I gradually was able to shift my thoughts about what I missed, to thoughts about what was still out there.

In the time since, I have remained diligent in removing diseased plants, and have focused my attention on species that had continued to thrive, and on plants I hadn't been growing. It has been over a year since any more Roses have shown symptoms, and only a couple of Lilies have had to be removed. While I am again bringing some new Roses to the garden, I will be careful not to rely so heavily on them for my overall design. I don't want to rely on just a few species to keep the garden colorful. The process of dealing with big losses has made me a better gardener, with expanded awareness.

While I'm sure I'll always end up collecting quite a few of any beloved plant species, I have come to the conclusion that keeping the garden diverse, with a broad spectrum of plant species, has resulted in a healthier garden overall. It lessens the chance of a pathogen wreaking such havoc on the entire aesthetic of the garden. No matter how old I get, the garden just keeps teaching me, keeping me on my toes...and keeping me young I suppose Hurray!

How has your gardening changed over the years? How have your attitudes changed in your journey in the garden?



"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Jan 9, 2015 6:35 PM CST
While sometimes I am still quite bummed when I lose a plant most often I shrug it off. It is an opening for something new!!
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Jan 9, 2015 6:38 PM CST
Exactly! When one door closes, another door opens.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jan 11, 2015 5:47 PM CST
That is all true, but sometimes when you are down it seems like one door closes on your foot while the one opening hits you in the face. I am just grateful to be in a better place than that the majority of the time.
Really looking forward to gardening this year, hope we have a year weather wise much like last spring and summer, more rain than we have had in a while and the garden always needs rain. I need to replace a few roses, and I have new beds for daylilies and plenty of room for other stuff too this year.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Jan 11, 2015 6:08 PM CST
Biodiversity was Mother Nature's plan!
I also think that having a diverse mixture of plants is healthier than monocultures such as lawns.
I enjoy watching things grow, and change. So to me:- it is individual plants that intrigue me , rather than trying for the big show for the street. Gardening is definitely a learning process for me.
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Alabama Plant and/or Seed Trader Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder
Butterflies Tropicals Bulbs Lilies Daylilies Garden Procrastinator
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Kabby
Jan 11, 2015 8:24 PM CST
Neal I also stopped and walked away, for 4 yrs for me. I pulled up markers, border liners, husband mowed almost everything down. In '13 straight line winds took out 5 of my trees, taking my fence and one shade bed with it. I just shrugged my shoulders about the flower bed.
Last Feb one daylily friend asked if I still had a certain cultivar so I was out in the weeds and cold with an old garden map. It was the spark I needed. I eliminated beds that were further away from the house, did only a little ordering, got wonderful advice from ATP members on different bulbs and plants. And lo and behold, after all that mowing many of my plants got some sun and returned. The shade bed beneath my felled oak survived the '13 summer so I had to scramble for space.
My attitude now is no ordering or trading unless I have a prepared bed right then. No more I'll take care of it when the plants get here. For the first time in 10 yrs, no daylily rust last summer. I had an order from OH and one auction plant. No mildew on my pink phlox, but did have to toss a new echinacea with aster yellows. I'm trying to be more diligent with mulch so I don't have to weed so much. No beds far away from the house that are difficult to water. Take delight when you have a plant bloom for the first time but don't forget to admire your old faithfuls that come back every yr. Whew think I'm done for now. Green Grin!
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Jan 12, 2015 6:05 AM CST

Hurray! Kabby! I used to do the same thing, order plants without having a prepared bed for them- I was especially bad about that when I was younger, often watching plants suffer while I procrastinated.

I read a thread on another site about an avid rose enthusiast who started seeing cases of rose rosette virus, and discovered neighbors had horribly infected plants in their landscape. It took a year to convince them to remove the plants, and then she discovered a large planting at a hotel just down the street from her house that were infected. Then another year of dealing with the hotel management to remove infected plants. They also removed them, but she's still finding infection among her remaining roses. Naturally she's feeling defeated and so sad, I think still at that "I give up" phase. My heart really went out to her, and I realized how much worse it is for someone having to struggle with convincing others to remove landscape plants.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Alabama Plant and/or Seed Trader Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder
Butterflies Tropicals Bulbs Lilies Daylilies Garden Procrastinator
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Kabby
Jan 12, 2015 4:39 PM CST
I had to laugh Neal I'm a Libra, procrastination is a known fact for us. Or maybe obsessive that those shortie plants have got to go in front of talls. Which requires that I look up the height online with further procrastination. Maybe that's the balance part of being a Libra.
I looked up the rosette virus, that's just doggone ugly. I dug all my canna population in 04 due to virus, just recently started adding them back. Hosta people have their virus. Seems like there's a plague for everyone's favorite plant. Sad
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Jan 12, 2015 8:55 PM CST
gemini_sage said:
... I used to do the same thing, order plants without having a prepared bed for them- I was especially bad about that when I was younger, often watching plants suffer while I procrastinated.


Oh, how many times I have done that!! *Blush*

"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Jan 12, 2015 9:11 PM CST
What, that's not the way you're supposed to do it? Hilarious!

Actually this fall I did get a huge new bed ready and then visited my daughter who loaded up my car with plants! It sure is a lot easier doing it that way.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Jan 12, 2015 9:34 PM CST
Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious!
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Kabby
Lowndesboro, AL (Zone 8a)
Region: United States of America Region: Alabama Plant and/or Seed Trader Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder
Butterflies Tropicals Bulbs Lilies Daylilies Garden Procrastinator
Image
Kabby
Jan 12, 2015 9:37 PM CST
I had 7 boxes of daylilies in and around my mailbox delivered on one day. Husband looked and quietly said "it's getting out of hand." That's all he said and went inside. *Blush*
[Last edited by Kabby - Jan 13, 2015 11:21 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #764289 (12)
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jan 12, 2015 9:41 PM CST
Kabby, my wife probably thinks the same. Last month I got (only) 50 blooming size orchids and then two days later got 250 seedling orchids. Now I have to do something with 600 orchids. Whistling
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Jan 12, 2015 9:41 PM CST
Treasure that man! Hurray! I tip my hat to you.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 12, 2015 9:45 PM CST
Or commit him! Sighing! I am also a Libra but for some reason, when it comes to tropical plants, and particularly orchids, well, I just don't seem to procrastinate like I should. Whistling
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Jan 13, 2015 8:18 AM CST
Our poor spouses... they just don't seem to understand Shrug! Rolling on the floor laughing
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 13, 2015 8:48 AM CST
I guess the saving-grace is that my wife is an artist and she loves to paint my orchids when they flower. Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Jan 13, 2015 9:13 AM CST
How could any wife have a problem with a husband that keeps her surrounded in flowers? Tell her you do it all to make sure the home space is as lovely as she is Smiling
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Jan 13, 2015 10:47 AM CST
Ooh, Neal, that's slick...and probably effective, too. Nice job. Hilarious!
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 13, 2015 10:52 AM CST
Thumbs up I agree Thank You! Neal
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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