All Things Gardening forum: Has your plant taste changed over the years?

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Name: Angie
Victoria, British Columbia, Ca (Zone 9a)
Ferns Region: Pacific Northwest Bee Lover Dragonflies Keeper of Poultry
AngieVanIsld
May 18, 2018 11:26 PM CST
Things I would have never selected 5 years ago are now my favorite plants. Anyone else? I've only been gardening for 10 years addictively, but I've noticed my plant flavour has shifted over the years. Many of my perennials now I would never have selected in my first half of my gardening life. Things like, I prefer spikey flowers and 70% of the time I like it in only white blooms now. Heck, I have a large garden bed that is only white blooming plants. From white columbine, white azealeas, pink ice spires, candy tuff, Campanula E H frost, veronicastrum virginicum album, mock orange, incrediballs, Speedwell Charlotte, just to name a few favs..

I went from from a plant collector to more large swathes of more common plants that work in my design.

I don't miss my old daylilies, tall grasses, larkspurs, carnations, lily of the valley, creeping thyme, golden Jenny, lilacs and palm trees I left behind at my old house. Please note though, I don't dislike them but like others more now. I'm a firm believer that unless it's invasive I can find a suitable spot for any plant in the right location and combinations now. I still have long standing favorites such as Japanese maples and ferns.

Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
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NJBob
May 19, 2018 7:49 PM CST
For me it is more like my favorites have been added to. Echinacea and Heuchera are still at the top of the list. But other like Hellebore and Ferns are getting more space in my gardens. Would like more Hardy Hibiscus ,but only so much space in the sun garden. If Hydrangea did better here I would get more but due to bad Winters they die to the ground almost every year.
Name: Val
Near Boston, MA (Zone 6a)
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vma4922
May 20, 2018 6:35 AM CST
I think I agree you both. I add new things as I see them and they come available. There's always something new or that I didnt seem to know about, or a new area my husband clears out (ie he cleared the brush from the woods behind our garden areas, so I am planting new woodland plants this year). I think it keeps gardening exciting to add new things and watch them grow (and bloom)!

I'm not into daylilies much anymore. I enjoy the ones I have when they bloom, but not on my "to buy" list, there are too many other things to pick from, and my space is relatively limited now that my gardens are mostly planted.

I am planting ferns this year, and bought a couple japanese painted ferns and ghost ferns as well as others. I am hoping they will do well as this is a new area for me to delve into
[Last edited by vma4922 - May 20, 2018 6:36 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1713659 (3)
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
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ZenMan
May 20, 2018 9:28 AM CST
vma4922 said:I think it keeps gardening exciting to add new things and watch them grow (and bloom)!


Hello Val,

For many years I have considered plant breeding as a means for making gardening exciting. Crossing two things adds an element of excitement -- what will the the cross look like? I first started with annual Phlox, because they already have a lot of different colors and patterns, but I became discouraged with them because the flower parts were so small, and many of the plants I was working with were only a few inches tall.

I had grown zinnias since I was a kid, and even tried to cross zinnias and marigolds when I was a kid. Several years ago I returned to zinnias as a subject for breeding. I had learned a little since I was a kid, and knew that crossing zinnias with marigolds was not going to work for me. But there were a lot of kinds and colors of zinnias, so there were many opportunities for crossing zinnias with zinnias, and I got real excitement from watching a new zinnia cross open a bloom for the first time. I kind of knew that would happen, because I had grown mixtures of zinnias before and, when one was opening a bloom for the first time, I was always waiting and anticipating to see what color it would be. I knew the anticipation and excitement would be even more if that zinnia was one that I had crossed with a different zinnia.

So the excitement continues to this day, as I now make hybrids between my own hybrids and see, not just new color combinations, but new flower forms and plant forms. I have extended my zinnia hobby to be year-round by growing zinnias indoors during the Winter months. I am currently transitioning from my indoor zinnia phase to an outdoor garden phase. This Summer and Fall I will be the exploring the effects of crossing a "new" needle-petaled mutant with other unconventional zinnia flower forms.
Thumb of 2018-05-20/ZenMan/8de700 Thumb of 2018-05-20/ZenMan/6143c6
Home hybridized zinnias can be full of surprises and excitement. I recommend plant breeding in general as a hobby that can add excitement to your gardening.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
May 21, 2018 8:33 AM CST
Agree, I was initially interested almost exclusively in blooms when I started gardening. Now flowers are of little importance to me, unless they are scented or suitable for butterflies, bees, and hummers to get nectar, or will lead to berries that can sustain larger birds over winter. Flowers definitely take a backseat to gorgeous foliage that looks good every day or providing some value to the wildlife. Life's too short to wait for otherwise boring plants to make a few flowers for a short time.
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The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
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Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
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ZenMan
May 21, 2018 10:50 PM CST
Hello Tiffany,

" Life's too short to wait for otherwise boring plants to make a few flowers for a short time. "

Perennials do tend to be "one shots" when it comes to flowering, but many annuals continue blooming until they are killed by cold weather in the Fall. My zinnias are just one example of that.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
May 22, 2018 7:57 AM CST
Absolutely! Zinnias are always on my short-list when I am thinking about flowers. And other true annuals, in general. It's the temperate perennials that I'm using less and less in the more recent decades, preferring Gardenias, roses, Hydrangeas, Brugmansias & other shrubs in their place. I guess most of the perennials I have now that are smaller than shrubs are bulbs.

Your Zinnia breeding is always intriguing to me!

👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
[Last edited by purpleinopp - May 22, 2018 9:01 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1715457 (7)
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
May 22, 2018 8:07 AM CST
My gardening has shifted from vegetables and annuals to more perennials over the years. Now I focus on peonies, delphiniums and hardy roses.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
May 22, 2018 3:30 PM CST
My shift has gone from a large vegetable garden, to hardy perennials that are easy to divide, to a pretty extensive herb garden, and now to native plants that will likely grow with less maintenance. I've never been much into annuals, other than a few for color here and there. Daylillies are fine, but I cringe at some of the prices - mine are all pretty plain jane, nice pops of color, low maintenance, none of the fancy frills.

Isabella, you may want to move your post over to the classified forum, it's not particularly appropriate in this thread. I don't mind particularly, but just skipped by your 'ad.'
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 22, 2018 6:40 PM CST
NJBob said: If Hydrangea did better here I would get more but due to bad Winters they die to the ground almost every year.


That's so odd NJ Bob, I'm right up the road from you in Yonkers NY and I've NEVER lost a hydrangea- I have at least 10. 5 of them are more than 30 years old and the other five are between 5-15 years. There's gotta be something else going on.

I love them- they're so showy and shade tolerant. I had one that was overtaken by a giant rhododenron. I thought it was gone, but when I cut back the rhododenron savagely there were a couple weak stems left and it bounced back like nobodies business!

Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
Hellebores The WITWIT Badge Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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NJBob
May 23, 2018 8:04 PM CST
The Pinnacle Hydrangea do ok , but Winters here are much different then Yonkers even though we are close. I am on top of a mountain where the temps can have a 10 degree difference from top to bottom also between 3 lakes so Winter winds can be tough on the plants. So most years the old wood gets killed and only new wood flowers. The only Mop heads that have been pretty reliable have been Incrediball and Annabelle. As for the colored ones La Dreamin had a few flowers last year but The City series and the Forever and Ever series have not flowered other then the first year they were planted. I know a few people who have tried the Endless Summers and have not had much luck getting them to flower.
Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 26, 2018 9:07 PM CST
I am with you NJBob, my mom is 90 miles up the line and 10 degrees colder- she's not even at elevation.. the Atlantic warm currents do make a huge difference over very small areas. Even in Yonkers it matters! I'm about 3/4 a mile from the Hudson/LI sound - I do get an extra couple degrees- my first frost is as much as 3-4 weeks past my mom- but over 15-50 years my plants have gotten as cold as yours as long as yours- the cold is not the issue.

My tastes haven't changed (becasue really, since when have I had taste? lol) but my expectations have changed. The thing that's really changed is I'm willing to admit defeat when I have to-


temporarily
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - May 26, 2018 9:09 PM (+)]
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Name: Bumplbea
Oregon (Zone 6a)
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bumplbea
May 26, 2018 10:25 PM CST


Over the years I've started to down size. I miss growing annuals every year and my pot collections like coleus, fuchsias, geraniums, million bells, ablutions, begonias, hardy , succulents and so much more. Today it's down to the trees dwarf maples, pines, Japanese holly, and shrubs like Rhodies, azaleas, that continue to color the garden from spring to fall as well as clematis vines , wisterias, roses , dahlias . Slow growing trees like Gingko, Chinese fringe tree. Ponds and water features add a good balance for attracting birds, butterflies,frogs and hummers.

A lot of hostas, variegated foliage depth along with hardy heaths and heathers, hellebores, hydrangeas, oh the ferns Chinese painted ferns, cinnamon ferns lady fingers ...and lots of bulbs for early spring blooms. Just a year round show even in winter nice to have winter in the garden not stuck looking at just the bones in the garden yet plants with winter interest thru the snowy season. Isn't it fun every year the garden changes and many plants shine in the best location. Thumbs up

Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Jun 6, 2018 5:22 AM CST
Yes to changes. From taking in every new, unusual free plant at swap, to trying to refine the plantings back to what really does well in multiples, not crying over a lost oddity, being more tidy.
I went back to work fulltime so less time for fussing.
Also more interested in natives supporting local insects and birds with the sense that they can enjoy the plants much more than I can.
I love spending time in the garden, so thinking of changes makes sure there is always something to do nodding
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)

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