Despite the fact that everything I have planted is getting way too big and engulfing the house and neighboring plants, my beautiful Rose of Sharon is not reaching upward to grace the window of my dining room. Instead, she is getting wider and fuller. Just not taller.
|Hibiscus syriacus 'White Chiffon' blooms and grows fuller|
|But after 3 years she still barely reaches the window|
Then there's the trio of paper birch trees (Betula papyrifera) that define our property. They have never looked good. In the wild they are iconic New England woodland trees, graceful, glowing yellow in fall, and startling in their white barked nakedness in winter.
But in my yard they don't cooperate. Because they are growing in nice garden soil and not rocky woodlands, mine put on too much foliage in spring. They leaf out, look good, and then when warm summer temps hit, they can't support all those leaves.
|In spring they grow too many leaves to support in summer|
By Labor Day they become denuded without coloring up for fall. Not at all what I was planning for the fall garden.
|This is how sad they looked in August|
|The birches at Labor Day. This is not what I want to see for fall color|
I wish I had planted a trio of river birches (Betula nigra) instead of the paper birches. I do have several river birches in other spots, and they are just as beautiful --- the bark is shaggy and peeling, not white. They grow fast, stay lovely all summer and cooperate so much better than the paper birches do. A very accommodating tree.
|One of the thriving river birches. Much better choice.|
My black and blue sage (Salvia guaranitica) was completely uncooperative, in fact stubborn to a fault this year. Drove me batty. It wintered over in a pot on my unheated porch, and this spring it leafed back out and grew beautifully, but completely refused to bloom all summer. Refused. Just didn't put out a single bud, just lots and lots of green foliage.
|Do you see any buds?|
|New Salvia guaranitica. Blooming. So there.|
Really, the entire garden in early September is looking great. I shouldn't complain. In fact, I'm pleased overall. But I had plans for a couple of these trees and shrubs and perennials that they just didn't seem to understand.
There's always one or two in every group I guess.