I'm feeling betrayed. Some garden areas are not performing, and things need to be fixed.
The first example is a strip of creeping thyme -- Thymus serpyllum 'Alba' -- that holds back a sharp little rise at the top of the driveway. The thyme has rotted out in the middle and looks terrible.
It was a stunner in 2010 when 12 plugs spread out beautifully over the little berm and bloomed. The fragrance of the crushed foliage was delightful, the draping white flowered sweeps were lovely under the roses and I congratulated myself. Well done.
It never looked that good again. Brownish, dry stems and dead material appeared and spread, worse each year.
I think I need to cut out the whole area, put in a low one foot high retaining wall of dry stacked stones to hold back the raised soil at the top of the drive, and be done with the thyme. How I loved it originally, though, before it betrayed me.
I'm not happy with two plumbago plants this year (Plumbago auriculata). They were so pleasing last summer, growing into tall towers that bloomed in light blue phlox-like clusters all summer, forming an arch. They had no support other than flimsy bamboo stakes, and this is what they looked like.
This year I planted two new plumbagos (they are not hardy for me, I need to plant them as annuals), and they have done nothing, despite having these great twig towers to climb up.
Here they are in August, with nothing to show. They are healthy and green, and they even have a few blue blooms, but have not reached any height and can barely be seen inside the twig towers. Orange nasturtiums threaten them from below.
I think this relationship is doomed, and next year I'll forgo plumbagos and just let the climbing nasturtiums have their way with the towers.
I'm completely unsatisfied with the gooseneck loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides) this year. I received several clumps from a neighbor (who "had so much, please take some") and I knew enough not to put it in the garden, where they overtake everything. There was a reason why she had so much in her garden.
They went into pots and were great last year.
The arching white spires of gooseneck loosestrife are interesting and pretty, but the golden fall color was a real surprise, very nice, especially in pots.
But this year they have produced no white flowers at all, and are sitting in their pots doing nothing except being green. Are they too crowded in there? They are aggressive spreaders and maybe the pots stunt them. Should I simply put them in the garden and hope they don't take over?
Could that save my relationship with this plant or will I regret it?
As a new gardener I was pretty smug about my lovely creeping thyme, my tall towers of plumbago, and the exuberant potted loosestrife, all wonderful examples of my burgeoning gardening expertise. I formed strong attachments to these successful plants, and was sure they liked me too.
Not this year. Damn fickle plants.