Awhile ago, Kim at Blackswamp Girl
did a post on things in other people's gardens that you can appreciate, but that you would never want to have in your own garden. Well, I've been thinking about it for a few weeks, and on Saturday I went shopping with a friend to Waterloo Gardens in Exton (super plant selection and a clearance section to.die.for) and was able to further flesh out my list. I bought a bunch of stuff too and will post about that later this week. And be forewarned that I sometimes cross the line into things that, if I were Queen, would never be in anybody's garden. Here is my list.
1. Boxwood. They are pretty. I can appreciate them. I know that they are finicky and to have a substantial boxwood hedge takes patience and a substantial green thumb. They are an investment and I've even heard that they smell like money. Ummmmm.....no. They smell like cat pee. Actually reek of cat pee. And for that reason, will never plant one in my yard.
2. Hibiscus. The fact that they are so tropical looking bothers me for some reason. This isn't Bali Hai, this is South Central Pennsylvania. They look fake somehow. Just wrong in this area. Florida? Texas? Southern California? Okay. But really not for mid-Atlantic gardens.
3. A television, mini-fridge, dishwasher, or other appliance that should be inside. I look at a lot of gardening magazines, shows, blogs, etc. This trend of making 'outdoor kitchen rooms' is ridiculous. A grill is fine. A little wine refrigerator and a flat screen television that rises out of a cleverly concealed chest is insane and basically indicates that the individual is not worth knowing.
4. Sweet Woodruff. Something that is in my garden that I desperately want not to be. Oh how I wish that I had never met this plant. And I fear I will never get rid of it. I had this lovely area of Hostas at the front of my house. All different shapes and sizes and colors. A great study in green. Some were then when we moved in 5 years ago and I added some as well. IN the beginni
ng there was a tiny little area of Sweet Woodruff under these hostas. How pretty in the spring, with the bright green of the Woodruff and the new, shiny hosta leaves unfolding. And it has that lovely scent when stepped on. So I transplanted it, spreading it out more evenly among the Hostas. And it looked pretty for two or three more years. This year it went haywire. Forming a dense mat that some of the hostas couldn't even get through. And the hostas that could get through were apparently robbed of any and all moisture. This lovely blue-leaved specimen is no more. This plant should be on the invasive list!
5. David Austin Roses. I love them. They are beautiful and they smell lovely. But you know how when you are dating, and you realize that certain people are simply out of your league? Well these roses are out of my league. I feel like I wouldn't treat them right, and to have something that beautiful die by my hands is just not something I could stand. So I admire them from afar and know that those roses are simply too good for me.
6. Topiary. Again, something I absolutely admire. When you see a formal home and there are these beautifully maintained, clean, sharp shrubs trimmed in a myriad of shapes, it is truly something to behold. But I am not disciplined enough to keep up with something that high maintenance and I don't live in a formal looking house. So no topiaries for me.
7. Barberry. Pretty. Great color. I had a guinea pig named Bear as a child and sometimes I would bring him outside to get some air. And he would escape whatever enclosure I had him in and go straight for the barberry hedge in between our house and the house next door. And I would spend the next hour reaching around the barberry searching for Bear, getting cut up from the thorns. No Barberry for me.
8. Trumpet Vine. Another thing I have that I sincerely wish I didn't. Our front porch is partially covered with lattice. When we moved in, it was entirely covered with Trumpet Vine. It was splitting the wooden lattice everywhere and growing up the roof and covering the satellite and was just a mess. And it never bloomed. In three years, never a bloom. A former homeowner even admitted that the vine had never bloomed. So we replaced the lattice and cut that vine down. I posioned the stump hoping to never see that vine again. It won't die. It comes up all over the flower bed, in the lawn, even at the base of a tree 30 feet away. Evil nasty plant. Yet when I see it happily climbing a fence, abloom with fiery red tubular flowers, I appreciate it.
9. Stella D'oro Daylilies. One of the things that I would ban from anyone's yard were I queen. Totally overused and abused by landscaper, both residential and commercial, in our area.
10. Vinca and myrtle. At some point, someone must have had pots with these plants in the or planted myrtle as a groundcover now long gone. Both of these have escaped and now every year am constantly pulling them out of random spots. I can't kill them. They won't die. Yet a bed of myrtle carpeting the base of a tree is pretty. I'm not sure that I can ever appreciate vinca though. And the same goes with Pachysandra. Sometimes it looks pretty. But it is waaaayyyy overdone and hard to extirpate once established.