White trash vs. manicured

Floral Architecture floralartistry2000@yahoo.com
Sun, 15 Aug 2004 08:16:39 PDT
Well, I try to keep my uncle's garden in a state of
perfection (or as close as possible) but that never
happens. One summer I was there and the grass (in the
flower beds) was up to eye level for me (I'm nearly
6'). It had gone to seed and it's progeny was already
flowering. I was not a happy camper. 
The garden stays printine for the month of May and
Sept when I am there and that is about it. 
So, I will call it white trash with a bad manicure but
good intentions. 
This spring I was not able to get as much work done as
I had expected so, I left all the 500 stems of tulips
along the front walkway. May aunt says that she
doesn't mind pulling them out and actually finds it
fascinating the way they "pop" out. 
Well, I talked to her last week. The gardeners were
just now pulling them out. How embarrasing.

As far as tropicals vs bedding only, I believe there
is a happy medium. I do use a fair amount of tropicals
simply because you can't beat the way they take off in
the heat and humidity. They love it and never look
back. But, they are quite a chore in the fall and
don't really continue on after the first frost. So, it
is all a balancing act. I have many large leaved,
non-tropical plants that give that effect. I will be
adding some of these this fall but such items as
variegated horesradish, rhubarb, Angelica, Dahlias,
Cimicifuga (Actea now), etc., all add a tropical
To extend the fall blooming season, items that are in
the Compositae family can't be beat. Tony Avent's
selections of Helianthus, Rudebeckias, Echinacea, etc
keep on going. I also have a large collection of
various Solidago and asters. They are great
compliments to the wanning tropicals and can add a lot
if situated properly. 
Ipomoea 'Marguerite' turns bronze around the edges and
looks great around purple asters, Echinacea, or any of
the coppery Carex from New Zealand that are hardy. 
So, you see Jim, there is a balance if you step out of
the white trash barriers and open yor eyes to new
wonders. Who says you can't teach an old dog new
As a foot note, all my uncle's neighboors are pretty
much whtie trash with cash. Most lots are 1.5 to 5
acres with $200K homes on them. They are planted with
a few hostas, the prerequisite junpers, yews,
Berberis, and Euomymus. yuck!!!

John Ingram in L.A., CA. 
http://www.floralarchitecture.com/ check it out 
310.709.1613 (cell, west coast time, please call accordingly. Thank you)

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