Ever have this with a plant: love it, love it, love it, love it, love it, HATE IT. Some plants remind me of what I’ve always been told about childbirth: you don’t remember how bad it was until it’s too late. Either that or I am just too stupid to learn. During a day of late season carnage last weekend, I found myself hacking back or uprooting stuff that only weeks before had been the objects of cooing admiration by hundreds of Garden Walkers. The culprits included:
Verbena bonariensis: This is an annual for me, anyway. But I think I’m done with it all the same. Its tall, weaving stalks and fresh, pollinator-attracting blooms get bent, broken, and dull too soon.
Rudbeckia lacianata ‘Golden Glow’: I will never eliminate this from the garden, but late August is not its time. It must be deadheaded or the hideous spent blooms hang on for weeks, though small blooms are still coming. Mildew finally attacks. And, by this time, the 8-foot stems are staked. It’s the price that must be paid for this otherwise rewarding heirloom plant.
Hosta ventricosa (we think): Not gonna say goodbye to this inherited bed either, but I am making inroads. It has the tallest, deepest-colored scapes I have ever seen on a purple-flowered hosta and the deeply veined leaves are gorgeous. Until now. An early browner among the hosta clan.
As I happily tear into the perennial beds, I (just as happily) look at all my lush, overflowing pots of annuals. They would not do this to me. They know it’s not time yet.