Thursday, May 30, 2013

Garden Confessional

Azalea 'Rosebud'
 Forgive me, for I have sinned.  I bought a plant I did not plan to buy, nor did I have a place in mind for which I was looking for just that particular plant.
I trialed it in this spot for about a week by digging the hole and placing the shrub still in its pot in the hole.  I left it there just to see what I thought about it in the landscape.

The tag

You can see how it would stand out even just in bud when I walked through the shrub section of a nursery in Green Lake.

I'm always looking for flowering shrubs for my shrub border.  Azaleas are tough here, so I typically stay away from them, but I am hearing of some good gardeners having some successes with particular cultivars so I've been trying to up my game.  I have a couple azalea mollis and a PJM, and some unnamed species.  'Rosebud' joins this group.  I am hoping it is not deciduous like mollis and evergreen like the others, but I honestly don't know at this point.  I realized with my extended winter this years, I just don't want to see through my primarily deciduous shrub and tree border.  The neighbor adjacent to me there has a ridiculously hoarder/trashy/junky run-down property, the blight of our particularly nice neighborhood.

So what plants do you need to make confessions about this spring? 


  1. I fell for a 'Rosebud' azalea in the same way a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I have to say that here in Michigan it is almost completely deciduous. It does ok for me, though, in that it survives and blooms every year, though it really has not gotten any bigger overall - fact rather sparser than when I bought it. It definitely is one of the tougher cultivars, though, and does really well for some people here.

  2. Does this azalea not need acidic soil? Or do you not have the lime soil we live with here? I guess my 'Rosebud' would be the ironweed I bought last fall. I plunked it down in a spot that didn't make a lot of sense. Not sure if it survived the winter.

  3. Jason, my ironweed is just now starting to emerge. Talk about late! (Smokebush 'Nordine' died to the ground, too.) Yes, I have alkaline soil (or actually sand!) here, but in places where I have a few sweet soil lovers I add ferrous sulphate. I'm also low on manganese and magnesium in the soil and when I add commercial fertilizers add a time release with micronutrients. Even the ground water and rain is slightly alkaline here. So I am working outside my box when I go with azaleas and hydrangeas. It is one of the reasons you will never find me carting fallen pine needles off to the municipal compost site. Their acidity has been going into the shrub border for ten years. The shrub border borders the limestone alley, too. Don't think this has always been an easy battle!

  4. As someone who buys first and finds locations later I applaud your honoring the garden muse or intuition or whatever you want to call it that gets the plant you love home. Sitting the pot in holes to test location seems hugely careful to ME. I tend to dig and plant, dig up and move and plant again, like some large gopher gone berserk but really the plants don't mind. (I think they like the attention.)