What do you think the most popular passalong garden plant might be, world-wide?
I’ll give you a minute to think about it. But I’m not asking which one is sold the most, the one that people buy every year to plant, like tomatoes or marigolds. I’m wondering about the one most propagated and shared between gardeners.
Forget the snooty debates over “crape murder” pruning; it’s a moot point now. We got a real problem.
In my lifetime, a fast-spreading insect wiped out most of America’s elm trees, and a leafspot disease ruined millions of red Photinias. And nothing we threw at either helped much at all.
I got into a smackdown with an older, more experienced gardener over who grows the tastiest tomatoes. And I got owned. Totally owned.
A little background: Close gardening friends gauge my horticultural skills on tomatoes.
Whacking overgrown shrubs back hard, like changing diapers, needs doing occasionally and can be worrisome the first time. But it usually works out fine.
And it doesn’t harm plants. Ever see where a drunk driver ran over hapless crape myrtles, and the plants sprouted right back out and bloomed just fine?
At their most unpretentious, gardening, cooking, and music have very simple things in common.
While passing time the other muggy July day with a musician who loves to cook, he confided he couldn’t grow herbs. “Terrible luck,” he said. And I suggested he was trying too hard, like playing with too many notes.
There is a one-word answer to some of the most plaintive requests I get for help with garden pests: Fence.
As a frustrated hands-on gardener myself, I perfectly understand how everyone wants relief through an easy fix. And the push-back about physical barriers, whether out of concerns over the expense or aesthetics.
There’s an easy way to get around the garden-gobbling size and leaf debris to better enjoy our official state tree: Up against a wall.