change is a constant....!
I needed to make space in my tag binders (where I keep the plant tags for things I plant in the garden) in order to make room for the tags of plants that I planted in 2013. So I went through the backyard binder (still need to cull the binder for the front garden....) removing tags for plants that had died or were removed for various reasons. I was quite surprised by the volume that got removed!
We moved here in late 1999 and started the garden in 2000. Aside from the mature white ash, a young red oak, two middle-aged white pines, a scruffy spruce that is a naked pole for 20' or so, a cedar clump (one trunk;5 tops) in the front garden, and a old-ish pussy willow tree by the shed, we planted everything that is in the garden.
It took a while to figure out what would grow in the tough conditions under the pines, in the 'wet corner', and under the oak. Some things survived for a couple of years, looking hopeful for long term survival, and then up and died - sometimes for no obvious reason. Some things, like most of the perennial geraniums and all of the Lady's Mantle, were removed because they were a bit too happy where they were and their expansion ambitions were at odds with my plans! Ferns have done well in quite a few locations - but I realized from this exercise that I have lots of ferns that I now have no idea which ones are which! Some are obvious (e.g. Maidenhair, Autumn fern) but I can't tell most of the green ferny-looking ferns apart! I have several varieties of Japanese Panted Ferns - I know that they are JPF, but I don't have a clue which one is, say, Ursala's Red. Ditto hostas - some are sufficiently distinctive to be easily recognizable but most of the big blue ones and many of the solid green ones look pretty much alike to me.
For the most part I don't particularly care about variety names as I choose most plants because they suit my plans for the size, color, type of plant etc. that I want for a particular area and seem to have a reasonable chance of surviving the conditions there. Mind you, the large amount of culled tags say I've been opptimistic about the survival element! Some of the culling though reflects how my tastes and plans for the garden have changed over time, as well as how the conditions in the garden have changed as the trees grew. Initially there were some areas where there was enough sun to plant a couple of sun-lovers. Not now!
It's going to be interesting to see the extent of the cull for the front garden tags.... A lot of the changes in the front over the years reflect changes in my plant preferences as, once the old spruce that dominated the front yard was removed after the first year here, the conditions have been pretty constant re full sun.
Do you operate a revolving door of plants or is your garden more stable? (Before doing this cull of tags, I would have said things were relatively stable here! I'd say about 75% of the plants I planted in the backyard in the first 5 years are gone now.)