Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I Don't Trust Her Anymore

Every Tuesday on the noon news they have a guest on newstalk: Dottie White from the Strawberry Geranium.

For years its been the orderly schedule of being in front of the boob tube at 12:17 with remote in hand ready to punch that volume button up enough to drown out sibling rivaly at the first sign of a raised voice - eyes and ears glued to that glowing screen, ready to catch every syllable of golden wisdom dripping from those knowledegable lips.

Now, it's not that I no longer like Dottie, because I do, she's a very likable person. I just don't think I can trust all her advice so much anymore which, honestly, makes me very sad.

I don't know why, but for some reason she's decide that the whole region is a zone 4, when it isn't anything of the sort. The channel 2 viewing area ranges all the way from 4b to 6a, with most of us stuck somewhere in the 5's. Hence, what will work in some areas croaks at the first wacked weather in another. Granted, with all the hills and valleys in central NY, there are bound to be unbelievable amounts of microclimates too, so generalizing makes me nuts! For instance:

She advises in (our) area to treat buddleia as an annual - rip it up in the fall and buy new in the spring because they will not overwinter here. Uh, soooo not true! Mine have had no problems at all, even with winters with no snow to speak of and wicked desiccateing winds.

Why not just say - depending on your area and the harshness (or not) of the coming winter, they may not return in spring?

Just like yesterday when she said hardy chrysanthemums are not hardy and will not make it through our winters. (ok, so lots of people have problems with so-called hardy mums not being so hardy) But I beg to differ - mine make it through just fine in my 'zone'.

There are many little tidbits of her advice I haven't agreed with over the years, but not enough to make me think she doesn't know her stuff - quite the opposite.

But, not so easy to say we're all a zone 4, and I don't think she should, because, well ... we aren't!

I really, really hate to say it, but maybe she just wants to sell more plants. After all, selling is her business. Have I been blinded by the electric glow all these years?

The Opposite Problem

Susan, over at Garden Rant, says she's "been known to give up on plants before they've had a chance to really show me their stuff."

I just can't do it! Even if I've decided I hate a certain plant, I'll still give it the benefit of the doubt - for years. I might move them around, but they always get a chance at making me go, "Ooohhh!"

Honestly, I don't think I've ripped out anything, nothing, nada until I've given it, at the very least, 3 years worth of growth to show me what its got.

Sometimes it takes that long for them to get that far. You know: sleep - creep - leap.

Seriously, I never thought about it before, but a lot of people will point at things in my yard and say, "Mine never looked like that." Well, yeah, because you ripped it out before it even had a chance to look that good!

Patience, oh gardening one, patience!

But, this then also results in problems. Lots of them. Why live with a plant you detest for 3 years? Wouldn't you rather stick in something that you adore? Something that makes you go 'oooooh' right now? Why take up prime garden bed real estate with crap when you can have a knee-jerker in that spot?

Well ... because.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!