Lessons learned from the 2017 gardening season (so far):
Morning glory (convolvulus): The central mission of this (gorgeous) blue cultivar seemed to be to envelope every plant within its reach, while making sure to release as few flowers as possible in the process. The blooms, when they arrived, were too few and far between to overcome my disgust with the plant, which by then had enveloped most of a rose bush. I should have known when it was advertised as a “lovely ground cover for difficult areas.” I suppose many of you will think I should have known, period.
Black-eyed Susan vine (thunbergia): The orange cultivar I had was a star performer in trials, but, again, total domination without flowers was the motto. It got plenty of sun, too. I think I counted 2 flowers as of yesterday. And it’s a real pain to unwind from its host plants. (I like to encourage climbers to grow amid roses and other shrubby plants, but not without floral interest.)
Old, faltering maple: Sadly, this year is the end for a tree that has delighted visitors to the garden for decades. And we let it go too long. Now, its partial removal (leaving a lot of it standing) will mean cutting out part of a fence and using a lot of equipment.
Tulipa ‘Akebono’: Here’s the perfect alternative to too-heavy double tulips. It’s semidouble, stands up well, and has gorgeous red striations and green sepals. Really a fascinating tulip, and I thought I’d seen them all.
Lobularia: This has been going strong since early May; it now nearly covers the fountain its supposed to encircle (a good thing) and has a lovely honey scent. Many who see this think it’s allysum; it’s so much better.
Plumbago: I bought this on impulse and tucked it in a shady corner. It should have sulked but performed with regularity. Worth buying every year.
Athyrium ‘Ghost”: Best fern ever. Forget the Painted (one of its parents), which just kind of lies there. This is upright, sculptural, and a pretty silver.
And there’s more, but a lot of it is too embarrassing to confess.