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secret desires and fantasies

Posted by christinmk z5b eastern WA (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 30, 13 at 16:59

Well, we talked recently about the trees we would all plant if we had the space. What other secret [PLANT RELATED] fantasies do you have? If you had the space, optimum conditions, right zone, specific controlled conditions, or even a professional greenhouse, what type of plants would you dabble in? Something that is totally out of your comfort zone...and possibly your real one as well.

I'm sure if most people were honest they would say there is at least one group of plants they are envious some people are lucky enough to grow. The folks in the cold zones wish they could grow odd tropicals and those in hot climes wish for the cold-requiring plants like peonies and tulips. It's that all too well known "zone envy" ;-)

Have you always been lured by the beautiful and bizarre botanics of the tropics?

Maybe you would like recreate the romance of a rolling prairie with flowers and grasses?

Perhaps the big dry world of cacti and succulents is more your 'thang?

A spacious pond would be the bomb. Think of all those neat water plants!

Give me woods! Then you could plant woodland plants of course ;-)

A fantastic garden done up with gravely mounds and rocks to plant full of mini alpine wonders?

That soggy plot is what you long for, to plant with those strangely alluring carnivorous plants.

Something other perhaps???

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I have my phases where I kind of want to try it all, LOL. But lately I can't help thinking how awesome it would be to have a collection of carnivorous plants. Don't ask me why. But think of how cool it would be to have a couple areas/greenhouse filled with Sarracena, Drosera, Dionaea, Cephalotus, Nepenthes, etc! They are so weird they are wonderful, LOL.

There have been times I've thought about alpines. Some are too cute for words. But knowing me these kinds of plants wouldn't hold my interest for very long...

Ps. Just throwing it out there...I've got some space that woodsy plants do well in (and they are not out of my comfort zone) but I'd love to have more room for them ;-) Hey, this is the season miracles are supposed to happen so I had to mention it LOL!!!
CMK


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: secret desires and fantasies

I want lush ferns. I have the space and the shade for them, but need to get rid of several decades worth of invasive ivy, lamium, and Lily of the Valley, plus control the invasive garlic mustard. It will happen, but slowly.

Martha


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Martha - I eliminated 90+% of the lily of the valley that was growing here the year I moved in (November 2005) when I asked a neighbor with a backhoe to dig the blade 6 inches down & pull it horizontally over to the edge of the bed where it was growing. When he asked me where I wanted him to dump it, I told him, "As far away from the house as you can." The past few years I just yank any stray volunteers so they don't take a hold again.

I would enjoy a lush display of ferns as well but must content myself with the designer hostas I planted many years ago since that's all the full shade I can claim on my little green acre. This year my 'Dream Weaver,' 'Revolution,' & 'Kiwi Full Monty' were nearly twice their normal size thanks to a wet spring. They pretty much shaded out the other plants in my full shade bed.

If I had my druthers I'd add more penstemon and other sources of nectar for the pollinators. Thanks to winter sowing I added quite a lot of columbine, buddleia, balloon flower, campanula/bellflower, blue mist shrub, turtlehead, cranesbill, gaura/wandflower, lobelia, & Shasta daisy the past few years and have stopped cutting off the flowers my extensive variety of hostas produce since the pollinators seem to find them appetizing.

I'm reasonably content with what I've achieved in the garden over the past 8+ years but wouldn't mind having the ability to tweak it a bit here and there.


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Oh, if only my zone was warm enough for a mango tree, an avocado tree, an orange tree and a lemon tree!


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i havent read all of your proposition ... not enough coffee yet ..

but if i understand the premise ...

i covet all the southern flowering shrubs ... especially.. the fragrant ones ...

w/o the coffee ... these come to mind.. jasmine, gardenia. CMertle [however it spelt] ....

with the 5 acres... i have space for all of them.. with the zone.. none of them ...

ken


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My fantasy is a large rose garden, surrounded by a white picket fence, with an arbor at the entrance. The paths would be gravel, and I would have the $$ to hire someone to keep the paths clean & tidy. The roses would all be fragrant and free of disease and black spot. A girl can dream, can't she?
Oh, and southern, fragrant shrubs would be on my list too.
Ken, they have zone 6 crape myrtles now. I have one and it's lovely. Be patient; before you know it they'll breed some for your zone too.


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If I had the room and the dough, I would have a huge pond built with a natural waterfall right off our rocks in the backyard. Why not draw in even more wildlife to trash the garden?! LOL!
My ongoing desire is a secret formal English garden in one area of our yard. That area remains a bit vacant waiting for that project. I have big plans but we need a deer fence first and probably another well before I can start.

And I drool over my brother in law's cutleaf Vitex down on LI. Such a gorgeous tree. So, I'm with others who want those southern shrubs, and trees. I planted my first cold hardy camellia this year and I'm curious to see what happens this spring.


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I generally don't daydream about things that have almost zero chance of happening. Just me I guess....

However

I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to grow a completely subzero, winter-hardy, no protection needed tree fern. I've always found them fascinating and just so cool looking. I'm sure I could find a spot for one.

Kevin


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I want to win a sweepstakes: a crew of landscapers would come and and work with me to totally landscape my property (lots of edibles). They would do all the work and help me solidify my ideas. The I would want a lifetime's worth of mulch. I want a woodland garden, a rock garden, and easy care perennial beds and borders.


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I'd like one of those mellowed brick walled gardens filled with delphinium and bearded iris. Along the walls I would add tons of clematis and maybe a few climbing roses. It would look fantastic for about a month in June and then afterwards I would close the gate and leave it till next year.

I wish I could grow those summer annuals and perennials that like cool temperatures like fuchsias, diascias, gunnera... all those things that always grow and look better when they're in some quaint coastal town glowing under the pearly light.... Maybe I just need a beach house.


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I've dreamed of a greenhouse room addition to my house where I can grow food and tropical fruit all year long. It would have a comfy lounge, table and chairs, and sink, with glass windows that don't let in heat, just light (I've seen this.)

It would make living up here in winter more enjoyable!


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Lurker here.. though I am one of the Idyll folk from the conversation side-by way of an intro...

I would take the entirety of the display gardens at Digging Dog Nursery and plop them into my garden. Of course to do this I would have to get rid of my house and about 6 of the neighbors-(houses that is) and then I would go to the King of the neighborhood and demand that he outlaw leaf blowers.

Kathy in Napa


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I would have a woodland garden with a natural waterfall trickling over the large flat boulders in the hillside and another area for trees, weeping cherry, Japanese maple, flowering dogwood, and shrubs gardenia, bougainvillea, etc. and another area for a formal English garden with paths to stroll.

I am a very practical person so know these will not happen but fantasy is for dreaming.


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Ken, they have zone 6 crape myrtles now. I have one and it's lovely. Be patient; before you know it they'll breed some for your zone too.

==>>> but then.. like any long anticipated dream.. they wouldnt live up to the hype.. and probably let me down ...

sometimes its better for things to live in your dreams ...

ken


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Oh but I would have a magic arbor in my garden leading to a tropical full sun area with grapefruit trees, avocado trees, royal plumbagos in full bloom all year long and on the other side of all varieties of shade yard would be the magic arbor leading to the full sun zone 6/7 beds for my roses and vegetables and tree fruits along with the waterfall and waterlily pond attended by the full time gardener/deer chaser, who also chased the deer from real life garden. And frankly having a full time deer chaser would really be fantasy enough.


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RE: secret desires and fantasies

Oh but I would have a magic arbor in my garden leading to a tropical full sun area with grapefruit trees, avocado trees, royal plumbagos in full bloom all year long and on the other side of all varieties of shade yard would be the magic arbor leading to the full sun zone 6/7 beds for my roses and vegetables and tree fruits along with the waterfall and waterlily pond attended by the full time gardener/deer chaser, who also chased the deer from real life garden. And frankly having a full time deer chaser would really be fantasy enough.


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Oh, I'd go for those southern shrubs as well, but of course I also want to keep my tulips and and lilacs and peonies. In another section of the yard I want those xeric plants and the drainage they demand. I'd like the bog garden in another area and I'd like a landscaper and equipment on retainer so I can re-scape things whenever the fancy strikes and they can go out and weed, mulch, deadhead etc. when the mosquitoes are thick, and the heat and the humidity are tropical.


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-Kevin, WHAT?! You mean you don't want to go wrapping your tree fern up every winter with house insulation??? LOL. I actually read where a guy in the uk did that to protect his tree fern. ;-)

-susanzone5, what you need is an "orangery"! I found the perfect one for you too...Take a peek!. It's a bit plain-Jane and not ornate enough for my tastes but...LOL!!!
CMK


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dodgerdudette, Now that is one really good idea I like. 95% of the time I see a plant I like the only place that sells it is either Digging Dog or Los Pilitas Nursery. I'd need to adjust the climate zone and conditions just a smidge on many of the plants I'd like to grow, especially the ones at Los Pilitas, but otherwise I'm with you on that transfer idea. I'm just sitting here feeling jealous that you can visit Digging Dog in person.

I want to take a trip some day to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Tx which is at least closer and practically speaking has plants much more adaptable to my conditions. I wouldn't snub moving certain sections of it here at all.

This post was edited by GreatPlains1 on Wed, Dec 4, 13 at 16:36


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RE: secret desires and fantasies

high alpine meadows, meconopsis, primula, gentians, androsace, drabas, saxifrages - a miniature world with tiny perfect dwarf sorbus and salix, creeping daphne and minuscule fritillaries - little jewelled gems of plants.


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"What you need is an "orangery"! I found the perfect one for you too...Take a peek!"

Christinmk, yeah, right!! Lol

This post was edited by susanzone5 on Sun, Dec 8, 13 at 10:11


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RE: secret desires and fantasies

I want to buy a house in Florida just so I can plant a tropical garden.
At home in Northern MI, I am dreaming of planting my entire lawn with 1000s of crocus and grape hyacinth. Too late now. The snow isn't stopping. Next year.


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RE: secret desires and fantasies

  • Posted by dbarron Z6/7 (Oklahoma) (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 17, 13 at 7:46

I want to wake up and find that about 7 colors of meconopsis have somehow grown and matured in my yard and are in full flower. (Note that Meconopsis doesn't like warm nights and well being in the Upper South....we have warm nights)
Yes, it's a wild pipe dream and truthfully, I like living in zone 6&7 area, it has a wide range of things that can grow. I tried subtropical once...and while it's great..it's also basically non-changing. I missed the seasons and the great spasm of plant growth that is spring.

So...truth be told, I'm where i want to be growing wise, though there are always things that you wish you had could tiny micro-climates about the size of one plant.


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-dbarron, that is a good desire/fantasy! Meconopsis is probably one of the top plants I've always been "afraid" to grow. They seem so particular about their growing requirements that I've always shied away from them, thinking they would be impossible to make happy here (semi-arid come summer).

Up until a couple years ago I had no idea there was so many different colors of Meconopsis. I can easily see how one could collect those guys!
CMK


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I didn't want to say it on that other thread, but I just want some of the trees around here to drop dead.

I won't need to dream then, because it'll be a simple matter of planting and maintaining perennial gardens which are full of colour from one end of the growing season to the other. Of course, somebody has to pay for them.


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Ditto on the trees Sunnyborder, key word there is "sunny". I could loose every single tree in the neighbors yards on both the east and west sides stealing access to sun and be a truly happy camper. I spent the entire day again raking up those blasted Pin Oak leaves and that monster over-sized gigantic wall of shade and litter horror is still loaded with endless leaves that will drop all winter long making my yard and courtyard a huge mess. Hackberry trees could be declared illegal in the city because they are pest trees that want to take over the world around here and they are like big ugly slumlord weeds with damaging roots and they sucker like crazy. We have to spend money yearly trimming the fast growing branches away from our house. They are all volunteer trees trying to become a forest in the yard on the west where they are left to just do their thing, seeding about with abandon, with no upkeep or maintenance.

Spring is a nightmare dealing with zillions of seedlings and every plant in my yard leans east trying to escape the huge wall of shade in the back and leans west in front due to the too-big-for-an-average-sized-yard Pin Oak. While I am at it and since its about fantasies, the privet shrubs can go into the heap along with the trees. The ultimate lazy person's invasive plant combo always with vinca major as an ugly "ground cover".

My biggest dream come true would be the gone trees, privet and vinca major all taken out in one big ugly haul. The rest I can handle or just live without.


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PG1, that's my kind of town.

And if I want trees, I'll go live in a forest.


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Really. How about moving to New Mexico or Utah? I'd consider Montana except its too cold there. A woman who lives in New Mexico told me they are not allowed to plant any tree that grows over a certain height meaning no tall trees allowed according to code. In other words, no one can steal their neighbors sun. Nearly made me cry.

BTW, I don't know if you noticed but that list I posted on the tree dream thread were all short airy trees you can grow sun loving plants under, the Live Oak is actually a blue shrub. I am on the same page as you with trees. I have one Chilopsis linearis tree, small and airy. People who do not care for lots of trees are in the minority I have discovered.


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Oh finally! People like me!

I fully realize the importance of trees and do appreciate them, but sometimes a good thing can become annoying. I swear, the City of Mpls is bound and determined to plant every square inch of this city in trees.

Lots in the city are very small and one or two huge trees even on the Blvd. can shade the entire thing making anything but hosta growing almost impossible. When the huge elm on my Blvd came down because of Dutch Elm disease, I was joyous! Finally I had a garden in full sun. I could finally grow vegetables and zinnias and everything else I had only dreamed about.

This spring I noticed a city truck and workers planting trees in the empty Blvd. spaces on my block. I had an empty space where that elm came down, so I figured I was on their list. I quickly called the city and told them I didn't want a tree. They said fine and put me on a "no plant list". About an hour later I heard the truck by my house and saw a worker ready to plunk a big tree in a freshly dug hole on my Blvd. It was pouring rain, but I ran outside like a crazy person, waving the person down and telling him to stop, stop, stop. He did. Thankfully. I filled the hole in myself.

Kevin


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Real gardeners!

No light. No colour.

I love the ephemerals of spring, but don't personally identify with rushing through a life cycle before the forest canopy leafs over.

As Kevin indicates, we're all likely familiar with things like ecological systems, nutrient recycling, adaptation, floral succession, etc..

But as gardeners, often with only small areas to garden, we focus on other things.

I'm 100% for bylaws that protect neighbours' right to light.
How civilized!


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Ice storms = natures natural tree trimmer and as an added bonus, some of them have to be taken out. Every destructive cloud has a silver lining. Two bit the dust, one big messy maple that produced a carpet of seeds each spring across the street but even better, a big elm on the west side up front. I cried some big alligator tears and immediately put in some new plants for that brand new sunny spot.

They'd be on you real fast if you stole their water. I bet its illegal.

You can always plant the ever popular vinca major. Hostas aren't the only choice. I think there might be a couple more on that 'big list' of uninteresting choices.


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So if you prefer growing shady plants over growing sunny plants your not a "real gardener"?
CMK


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CMK, that was a joke, paraphrasing a "real man".

At the same time, I'd like to know what proportion of gardeners "prefer growing shady plants over growing sunny plants".

Here, at least, many/most gardens have some shade, at some times of the day/during some periods of the growing season. The more the shade, the less the options a perennial gardener has for flower colour.

I perennial garden for colour.
And too much shade has a crippling effect on the options available.

Of course, we all garden with what we've got.

People who "prefer growing shady plants" are welcome to all the shade they desire. On the other hand, they shouldn't have the right to impose shade on the flower beds of others.


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Ah, I see. Dodged a bullet there! Lol. For a second there I was worried I wasn't a true gardener since I love gardening in shade/shade plants. I'd personally love extra shade to do some more shade plant collecting. ;-) No doubt I'd go on autopilot again and get more ferns I don't really need, lol.
CMK


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Nah, your only considered not a real gardener when you grow "weeds", otherwise known as North American native plants and grasses and you don't follow appropriate "gardening design principles".

As far as working with what you have is concerned, I thought we were talking about our fantasies here!!@#! I"m still happily ripping out trees in my mind to clear my own personal overhead access being stolen by those greedy tree hogs on both sides. If its about real life, my only recourse is casting the evil eye toward them hoping they will die.

This post was edited by GreatPlains1 on Thu, Dec 19, 13 at 18:07


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RE: secret desires and fantasies

Valid points, GP1.

Each to their own tastes, CMK.
But I do like and have ferns too.


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I would like the back rolling lawn I saw recently in Old Williamsburg. Complete with sheep, fenced terraced areas, a small lake. A symmetrical kitchen garden, a crop garden past that for beautiful heirloom varieties. An east exposure on all four sides. A magnificent crew that could take my ideas and sort them through for the perfect plan. A greenhouse of orchids, and one with other things I can't even imagine. An orangery, avocado and lemon trees, that constantly bear fruit. Blueberries to my fill. No mosquitos. A self regulating compost pile that effortlessly placed mulch where it needs to be. The entire property surrounded with David Austin roses that look as good, and small, as his catalogue. Several good looking zero gravity chairs that look like adirondacks. The microclimate appropriate for all. And soft hands and polished nails.


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What a great idea for a thread.

This lot is an open woodland with partial shade because of the large canopy trees. There is hardly any full sun. Like others, I dream about more sun. A large sunny back yard with full sun where I can put a big veggie garden, cutting garden, a daylily garden, lots of butterfly plants, and sun loving perennials.

I'd love a pond with a small waterfall and some shallows for the birds to bathe, preferably close to a window so that the soothing sounds of moving water can be enjoyed and it's easy to watch the critters. I also want some real wetlands.

Having just gotten back from visiting my Mom in Florida, I would love to be able to grow the tropical plants year round that grow in her yard. But would also miss my Northeast US natives.

To name a few!! So many fantasies, so little time...


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ilovemyroses, now there is a great fantasy! lol I love it.
I can't find one thing in your description that I couldn't adopt for myself. :-) I say if you're going to fantasize, go big. NO mosquitoes, an old Williamsburg landscape complete with sheep. lol

terrene, same here, lots of sun and room for a huge vegetable garden and lots of fruit on trees and shrubs. And wouldn't it be great to have oranges, mangos, avocados and other tropical fruit too.


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