It’s Friday! Do you know what that means? It means it’s time for Hortense Hoelove to answer more readers’ questions about plant and garden relationship issues.
Thank goodness I found you! I realize our time difference may mean that you’re sleeping while I’m awake but I do wish you would help me out. Like Carol, I’m victim to the most frustrating problem. I would love my garden to be filled with gorgeous temperate-growing plants which I see in blogs like May Dreams Garden, but alas! I live a tropical zone. Hot, humid and filled with bugs of every size and colour. What, oh what can I do? Please help.
Sunita aka The Urban Gardener
It sounds like you have a case of “zone envy” in reverse. This affliction is most often seen in gardeners who live in colder temperate zones, like where May Dreams Gardens is and further north, who want to grow plants that are just not hardy enough to survive our cold winters. I hadn’t really thought that someone who can garden outside year around would be envious of our temperate zone gardens and plants. But I can understand it, because the lilacs do smell divine in the spring, there aren’t too many bugs in the summer, though there are quite a few, and the changing of the seasons is magical as we move from spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter, and winter back to spring. My advice is to bloom where you are planted, look around at the beauty of your garden, and enjoy it for what it offers and know that others are envious of you!
From my temperate zone,
We had quite a storm move through my garden this past Tuesday, dumping more three inches of rain in a day. That’s generally the total rainfall we get around here for the entire month of August. The wind knocked down most of the Surprise Lilies, which I now call the Fallen Ladies, and many of the sunflowers that were at least eight feet tall. Fortunately, it didn’t knock down my tower of green beans, which I crudely tied to four stakes some time ago. My question is should I leave the Fallen Ladies lying on the ground like that? Should I try to stake up the sunflowers. All that staking in the garden isn’t very attractive, is it? Dang, before that big rain and all the wind, the garden was really looking nice!
No longer looking up at sunflowers,
Dear Ms. Goblinfly,
It is a known fact that as soon as your garden looks really good with tall sunflowers, a storm will come along and knock down a plant or two, just to give you something to do and let you know that you aren’t always in charge like you think you are. If it were me, I’d leave the Surprise Lilies aka Fallen Ladies alone. They are about bloomed out anyway. But really, you should try to do something with those sunflowers because there is plenty more bloom in them this year. Perhaps you could just lean them back the other way so they rest on the fence? Aren’t they crushing the zinnias under them? Sure they are. I also noticed that the rain shifted around a lot of the mulch in the paths of your vegetable garden. You ought to rake some of that back in place. And then finish mulching the rest of your garden!
Mulch is key,
I must say that I am slightly shocked by your surname “Hoelove.” It has an odd connotation for a gardener. I’ve read a lot of Charles Dickens, and he uses surnames as an indicator of character, as does J. K. Rowling in her Harry Potter books. Can you please explain the name and how it relates to your personality and profession?
Yours in the garden,
Dear Mr.McGregor’s Daughter,
I’m more than happy to explain my last name and its connotations. Though it sounds English in its origin, it is actually derived from the garden fairies’ language which is called “Gardlish”. Many of the words of Gardlish sound English but are combined in ways that we who speak English wouldn’t think to do because the meanings can be mis-understood. In Gardlish, “hoelove” simply means “one who loves to work the soil in a garden and grow vegetables and flowers and spend as much time in the garden as possible”.
I hope this helps to remove all questions about my personality and profession!
Have A Gard Day, (which is Gardlish for Have A Good Day),
(If you have a question for Hortense Hoelove to answer next Friday, just leave it in a comment!)