The safest place for a plant during a drought is in a container in a slightly sheltered location that keeps it out of the hot sun. Ideally the location should also be near an outdoor faucet which has a hose hooked up to it so that the gardener can water the plant the minute it looks like it might need a little drink.
In my garden, there are three plants in containers that occupy such a location. I check them daily but I try not to fuss over them. I know you can kill a plant with kindness just as quickly as you can kill a plant with neglect.
These three plants are special.
I bought them while I was visiting the Elizabeth Lawrence Garden on June 30th. (Oh, lovely readers, I know you thought I was finally finished writing about my little visit to Lawrence’s garden when I wrote about her study. No, not quite yet. There are still a few more stories to tell.)
I was thrilled to see that they were selling a few plants that had been propagated from the plants Lawrence grew in her garden.
At first I wasn’t going to buy a plant because I was heading to the beach for a week’s vacation before going home, but in a matter of a few seconds I came to my senses and changed my mind.
Andrea, who works in the garden, helped me pick out some plants that would be hardy in my USDA Hardiness Zone 6a garden. We chose:
Acorus gramineus ‘Ogon’ – Japanese sweet grass. I’m going to have to think about where to plant this one as it likes a wet location. Currently my garden has no location that I would consider wet, especially during a drought, but I’ll figure out something.
Kalimeris pinnatifida ‘Hortensis’- Oxford Orphanage Plant. I first read about this passalong plant when Allen Bush wrote a post about it for the Human Flower Project website. He met Lawrence in 1982 and she gave him a start of it. When I read that article, I immediately ordered this plant for myself, but that plant got lost in the shuffling of plants that took place when I re-planted several garden borders a couple of summers again. Andrea was very accommodating in making sure I went home with this plant when I asked her about it.
Chrysanthemum ‘Christmas Gold’ – Andrea wrote an article about this Chrysanthemum and how it blooms late in the fall. I’m sure this is one that Lawrence also passed along to others because Chrysanthemums are easy to share. I suspect if I look for them, there are some references to to this particular Chrysanthemum in her writings.
These three plants successfully made the journey from Elizabeth Lawrence’s garden to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where they enjoyed a week in a motel room window overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Then they were loaded back into my car to make the long journey back to Indiana. (I set them on top of a cooler that was on the floor in the back seat so they would get some light as we drove and drove and drove some more.)
All three plants are safe right now, on the front porch, sheltered from the hot sun and near a good source of water. They are waiting for me to find them more permanent planting places, once the drought is over. My hope is that once I plant them in my garden, they will flourish and spread. I hope, too, that as the years go by, I can share divisions of these plants with others who visit my garden.
“Here, have a start of Chrysanthemum ‘Christmas Gold’. You’ll love it, even if you don’t like mums. I insist. I got my start from Elizabeth Lawrence’s garden.”
Doesn’t that have a nice sound to it?