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Horticultural Horror Stories

Well, I tried to avoid the Halloween theme since it was so obvious, but it’s the only idea coming to the surface and it’s already 8:16 and the blog is due this morning. There are multiple times each year when something goes awry that causes you to go running and screaming into the compost heap.

There is THE SUPPLIER THAT CANNOT CALL to let you know the plants you ordered, well, they are not necessarily the plants you are getting. The guy calls the afternoon before the plants are supposed to be delivered and says something like, “We couldn’t find the Salvia ‘Caradonna’ so we had to sub with Salvia ‘May Night’. Hope that isn’t a problem”. And you knew this for how long? And you didn’t think we should know this? In a similar vein there is the call that goes, “That Alternanthera ‘Mai Tai’ you ordered is a great looking plant. Beautiful colors in the leaves. But we had some problems with a fungus. The good news is we do have 6 of the 23 flats you ordered. Hope that works for you”. Hope you get hit by a big red truck.

Then of course you have THE PLANT THAT WOULD NOT LIVE. It’s something that you have seen grow happily a hundred other places but in your garden it dies the minute you put it in the ground. Or worse yet, it lingers on and on languishing in a slow spiral of death. A friend will call and tell you how theirs is now three feet tall and “just covered in the most beautiful cobalt blue flowers I’ve ever seen”. You look out the back window and see yours – barely alive, maybe a foot tall, rusty brown edges on the leaves, a squirrel is biting off the one flower bud on the sad plant. For a second you can’t decide what to do, shoot the squirrel or shoot your friend. The other half of this double feature is THE PLANT THAT WOULD NOT DIE. Bindweed. Need I say more? I think I would rather fight thistles. Every little root piece of bindweed can become a plant. It’s impossible to dig out, requires multiple shots of herbicide, and who know how long the seed is viable. Just laying there in the ground waiting, waiting for that moment when you aren’t looking and then…….

Filed under: Horticulture

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