Everyone’s got an opinion. Garden Wise Guy listed Five Plants I Hate, and he included Impatiens (for a good reason: California climate). Somewhere in my blogosphere meanderings a list had included petunias (I was reading lots of blogs this morning!) and I even read that one gardener wouldn’t plant anything that appeared in the flats offered in front of a grocery store.
That is never my opinion at all.
Years ago, I had read a defense of common flowers, and it made a lot of sense to me. I fully understand the repulsion for plants that are used so ubiquitously that the sight of another one leads to that glutted feeling one has after too many rounds at the “all you can eat” table. But I shifted my chair back from the repast and decided to recognize plants as each beautiful in their place, whether common or rare – just so they grow healthy and pull their weight in the garden plan.
In the spirit of Wise Guy‘s list, this post is setting forth my Ohio garden opinions. Why not?
List One: Five Common Annuals I Love
- Petunias, especially the blues, purples, yellow, and cherry and vanilla types like Chiffon Morn or Red Morn. One major exception: I do not like white petunias, they look like wet kleenex in the garden.
- Lobelias. I love them, their form, their colors, their diminutive size and texture.
- Zinnias, with all their forms and colors, provide the sunniest aspect of the garden with the voice of summer.
- Dahlberg Daisies. I love “small” as you can see, these tiny yellow daisies are tough, come back from seed in the oddest places, and can bloom well into fall if they are happy.
- Nicotiana gives fragrance and subtle colors; it grows easily and mixes well with other plants while retaining its individuality (I should be so blessed!)
List Two: Five Plants I Hate
There is only one plant I truly HATE, Bishop’s Weed, but some that I dislike.
- The purple leaf Norway Maple. It doesn’t blend, it is overplanted, and Norway maples are greedy rooted trees that make everything under them struggle to survive. I would put up with that for a green-leafed version, but not the morosely colored purple one.
- Juniper ‘Pfitzeriana’. This plants sins are blamed on the gardening practice of shoehorning a large plant into a cramped space. Ouch. There are so many beautiful smaller junipers that there is no reason for this.
- Clipped Forsythia. This one gets blamed on the gardening practice, too. There is nothing uglier than a forsythia clipped into an inch of its miserable life. Don’t do it, or don’t plant this poor plant.
- Opuntia, hardy cactus, it looks wrong in most places here in Ohio.
- Yuccas, for the same reason. It isn’t that I wouldn’t like some of these plants when situated intelligently, I just dislike their being plunked into the landscape and sticking out like a sore thumb. I love them in your Arizona gardens- and if I lived there, I would plant lots of them.
List Three: Five Seed Choices For 2009
- Osteospermums. I love them and the plants always cost too much
- Calendula. They don’t come true from seed, so I am ready for more of the double flowered hybrids.
- Mignonette. Hard to find, but I really want some in the garden this year.
- Cosmos Versailles. Goldfinches love to feed on the seeds..reason enough to plant them.
- Nigella. I am looking for the selected variety ” Miss Jekyll Blue”, since I don’t like the mixed colors so well.