Monday, September 22, 2014

Mary, Mary Awards - the Jury is Still Out ...

It's often difficult to judge how a plant, or an area, is doing for several  years.  And, that is certainly true this year.

A good illustration is the David Austin rose - 'Sister Elizabeth'.  It did so well the first year and started off so well this year, but then a mob of caterpillars moved in and completely stripped it.  By the time I realized that I had a problem ... it was too late.  Upon good advice I cut it way back and kept feeding it on a regular schedule and it did come back a lot.  Then the black spot struck.  So, it struggles on and I will try the new Bayer all-in-one product next year that feeds as well as fighting disease - and, I will spray for the caterpillars early.  I love this rose, so am willing to work hard to make it healthy again. 

Another question mark is the 'Vanilla Strawberry' hydrangea.  Am delighted at how well it has grown and how healthy it appears to be, but the flower were disappointing. 
The blooms are initially the whitest white in the garden, fading to a lovely cream and then blushing pink.

This year the pink went immediately to brown, without darkening to strawberry.  

It starts off white-white and then fades to cream and then is supposed to go strawberry.  The best I got was a pale pink that was sort of coral, but it turned brown instead of strawberry.  I hope it was just an immature plant and bad weather.  Am hopeful enough that I plan to add a 'Limelight' hydrangea to the collection this fall. 

Both of these plants are well worth another year and some TLC as they need it. 


  1. You are to be commended for hanging in there with some plants. Some just do not turn out as (falsely?) advertised or fail to perform to expectations. I was going to pronounce myself "ruthless", but there are some plants who just deserve the benefit of the doubt. Here it is mostly around "frost hardiness". Most years they do well, then a cold snap and down to the ground they go. I have a fig like that (and I love figs).

    1. You're so right! We hung in way too many years with the hibiscus, but i will give the 'Strawberry Vanilla' at least one more year.

      Now, if i could only have some rainy days...