Oh, Oh, The Twenty-One Stages of Plantaholism
Confessions of Some Plantaholics

1.         Yup, we mowed the lawn yesterday and sheared those yellow flowering bushes. They are so nice, yah know, they bloom all summer long, but I don’t like those brown things that appear after they bloom. Oh, Oh, by the way, the dozen Marigolds you planted are looking nice by the front door. You might check to see if they need some water and food. The dirt looks a bit dry.

2.          Did you know that there are some plants that come back every year? Something called annuals or is it pernals? I’ll need to check that out. The new birch tree needs watering. Maybe we should give it some more food. When did you feed it last? Do you think it needs food and water every day? Do you think we should read the directions? Do you know where we put those care directions?

3.          We planted some of those perennial Funkia, Daylilies and Peony the other day. Just one each to see how they do. That Daylily called ah ..... Stella something sure blooms nicely. Did we fertilize and water them? I can’t remember.

4.          Tore out those yellow flowering bushes, I think they’re called Potentellas, and that Stella Daylily last week. We installed some nice new types of Speereas, Roses and a really neat daylily called ‘Joan Senior’. Wow, was it expensive. $9.95 EACH. Can you believe it? Just for a plant! Don’t know what all of the hullabaloo is about in daylilies. Anyway, it’s sure a nice mature plant though.

5.          The new patio, deck and screened room sure allow us to enjoy the flowers and birds. Yah, we’re wondering if some Wigala bushes by the new maple along the south lot line would be nice. I heard about a fragrant yellow peony the other day selling for something like a $100.00. Who would ever pay that much for a peony or, for that matter, any plant? It’s beyond me.

6.          Yah, we went to Olbrich the other day. Have you been there? That Thai Pavilion is really awesome and the plants, aren’t they interesting.....? We kept on asking what kind of plants they were. Lots of labels, and all those Greek and Latin names, who cares about them?

7.          We’ve been thinking about joining a plant group. We’ve heard that The Wisconsin Hardy Plant Society doesn’t talk just about one kind of plant, but all different kinds. So, we decided to join and the people who belong to it are really nice. They don’t seem to mind that we are just new to this whole plant thing. The presentations are really wonderful in helping us learn a bit more about plants and gardening. Some of the members keep talking about rocks in the garden. We just don’t know about rocks in a garden.

8.          Wondering if we should join any other plant societies. Maybe become a Master Gardener. What do you think? Maybe they could really help us in getting more color in the back around the patio. Are you going to the WHA Garden Expo in February?

9.          Wow, you really need to come over and see the newly landscaped beds around the patio and the back yard. Landscape Designs, Inc. installed a berm... do you know what a berm is? It’s really nice. Wow, it sure does add interest and color. Why don’t you come over sometime for some Margaritas? Soon. Can’t wait for everything to grow.

10.       Yes, went to Olbrich Gardens again. That place sure has nice color in their gardens. Yup, we joined the Olbrich Garden Society. I think it will be nice to help support that place, maybe even volunteer to help out a bit. Planted a dozen daffodils last autumn. Wonder what to do with them after they flower....

11.       Went on a couple of those garden tours sponsored by Olbrich Gardens and the Hosta Society we just joined. Did you see that new Hosta Tom and Rosemary have? It’s really wonderful. I wonder where they got it. Someone mentioned we should visit the University of Wisconsin Arboretum. Have you ever been there? I hear it’s a wonderful place.

12.       Wow, the pond that we just finished sure adds a nice dimension. Really helps mask out the noise of the highway along the south side of the house. We love the fish... Yah, they are now pets ... why of course they have names. Can’t wait until all of the plants, especially that neat Pinus ‘Horsford Dwarf’ and the Campanula ‘Kent Belle’ mature a bit around it. Do you know if there is a Pond Society?         
13.       Decided to install 700 cubic yards of custom blended topsoil and some really neat boulders just off north side of the screened porch. Something called Shiki is going to be used to install the boulders. It should be installed sometime later this season. We just needed to get rid of that heavy clay soil there and allow us to install a rock garden. Ya, we joined the North American Rock Garden Society last year. Sure has a wonderful bulletin.

14.       Even though the labels are a bit invasive, we just cannot remember all of those different Hemerocallis, Heuchera and Tricyrtis cultivars .... and those Hosta ..... I don’t think anyone could keep all of the cultivars straight without labels. You know what I mean? The Betula `Heritage’ and Acer `Green Mountain’ we originally planted have matured quite nicely. Missed you at the Hemerocallis Society meeting last week.

15.       The 12 by 8 foot lean-to sunroom fits really nicely on the southeast corner of the house. What a great view. We can now get some of those Phalaenopsis and Dendrobium to bloom that we bought at Orchid Quest last year. Do you think you will attend the Rose Society meeting in Shreveport this summer? How many catalogues have you received already? Have you ordered anything yet? We just got high-speed Internet access so we can surf the web and communicate better with the round robins.

16.       There’s still a bit of lawn off the west side to the back yard that’s really not all that important. Even though it’s difficult to give up that boring expanse of beautiful green lawn, we conceded to the pressures that be, and installed a grove of Taxodium disticum in the area. Yah, .... something to do with childhood. Planted some of the new Iris spuria cultivars we learned about at the last meeting of the Iris Society. We’re thinking of selling the John Deer® tractor’s lawn mower attachment and getting a smaller one. We just don’t have that much lawn anymore. Oh heavens no, not the tractor, just the mower attachment.

17.       We think the 20-foot by 30-foot greenhouse should be big enough to start seeds of some of those annuals and biennials that we just can’t seem to find in the garden centers. The orchids outgrew the lean-to, so something had to be done. The Herb Society’s plant exchange got us some nice new Rosmarinus and Lavandula cuttings that we will be able to raise in the greenhouse. We would like to start Dahlia tubers and get a head start on them so we can have some for the Dahlia Society show. Some of the bulbs, which we fell in love with when we attended the International Bulb Society symposium last year in South Africa, need to be raised in a greenhouse. We just can’t believe there are so many geophytes native to South Africa. So the greenhouse will have a nice head house and climate controlled areas.

19.       Last year, we thought about moving but decided it would be cheaper to buy the property next door, so we would have a bit more room. It has some really nice soils and more diverse ecosystems than our small lot. Can you believe they just never did anything with that property? What a shame. Yah, I know 40 acres is a bit much, but it has this neat meadow and woodland area. Have you seen that recent article in the RHS Magazine, The Garden, on Ranunculus. Cool, eh? Too bad they aren’t hardy here.
20.       Three years ago, we moved here to the Portland area ........ Oregon, of course. We wanted to be outdoors more, and grow more of the plants that weren’t hardy back there in Zone 5. We’ve fallen in love with many of those frost tender Dwarf Conifers we saw at the recent Conifer Society’s international meeting in Australia.

21.       Yes, we think this is our final move to here, you know Auckland area has one of the nicest climates and best soils for raising just about anything your heart desires. New Zealand of course! We think native plants are the way to go. Yes, there are so many different kinds here. To bad we could not bring any of the plants from Portland. But we think we should be able to be pretty much grow whatever we desire. Talk to you later this week regarding the plant trip to Nepal .... ... ... ... ...


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