Friday, June 28, 2013

What's Not Growing!

Just as many things flourish in our garden, there are always those plants that don't seem to do well no matter what I do.  Here's a glimpse at what's NOT growing in our garden.


I'm not surprised, it never does well; it's never warm enough here, at least it's never warm enough at the end of May or during June when the beautiful, flush plants from the nursery lure me in.  But I always buy a plant (or three!) A part of me hopes this will be the year they will adapt and grow into the kinds of plants I can pick from all summer and into the fall, plants that have so many healthy leaves I can make jars of homemade pesto to freeze for the winter.

I remember a few years ago when I was in Mexico and the resort used basil as one of their landscaping plants. Talk about amazing; they were so big, two and three feet tall and wide that I don't think I would have recognized them except the scent was like a perfume in the humid air every time I walked by one.

I'll probably never have very successful basil, but I'm still okay with buying a few plants every year, especially if I get to use the lovely fragrant leaves in a recipe or two before the plants completely conk out.


This one vexes me as we live in a climate PERFECT for blueberries.  We bought four bushes almost four years ago.  At the time they were two-year old bushes so they were a good size.  I bought them for the fruit as well as the brilliant red foliage the leaves display in the fall.  We amended the soil to make sure there was plenty of acid and we planted a few different kinds so they could cross-pollinate.  Last year and this year something really odd has happened to them.  All these precious white blossoms bloom and fall off like they are supposed to, but in addition to the blossoms falling off, the little stems that hold the blossom, and would grow the fruit, also fall off.  

I did some research and the closest I can gather is that they maybe have a blossom blight and that there is nothing I can do for them; they are doomed! Jasper's face pretty much sums up how we feel about not picking blueberries from our own plants! Did I mention it's one of the few foods that boy actually eats?!


If someone walked by and saw my peonies they might think, what is wrong with that poor gardener, she can't even get peonies to bloom in a place where most people's peonies are overflowing, literally, falling over with huge gorgeous blooms!  Last year, from five plants, (three of which were already in the yard when we bought this house, and have never bloomed since we've lived here) I got one bloom.  I would have had three, but Jasper bent one off before it could bloom and Dizzy destroyed the other.  So last year I moved several of the plants, put in lots of compost and made sure they weren't planted too deep as per all the tips I read about peonies liking a bit of winter chill in order to bloom in the spring.  The only one that bloomed is the one that bloomed last year, and it only produced two precious deep purple pinkish blooms. I kept one for myself and gave one to my good friend and awesome gardener/flower whisperer, Ingrid.

I drive or walk by all these houses in our neighborhood with overflowing blossoms just drooping off neglected peony after neglected peony and I just want to cry, or go cut them off and steal them!


A friend gave us precious twenty-year old Rhubarb crowns about three years ago, what a gift!  Not only does Rhubarb also grow really well around here, but I love pairing rhubarb with strawberries in spring recipes. Delish!  My rhubarb has done nothing but struggle.  I keep giving it compost, I water it, and although it starts off strong, it barely manages to cling to life by the time June comes around.  We all know it's not the heat that's killing it!  But it almost looks burnt.  

I think I might try to move it this fall, as maybe the location is the problem.  Most people I know out here who have rhubarb don't have to do anything to it and they still grow these huge bush like rhubarb plants. I'm stumped!

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