Tuesday, June 3, 2008


It seems that every single day there is a new surprise in the garden. I am always, always amazed at the growth, changes and beauty. The above iris is a late bloomer and just came into its own. It is 'Edith Wolford' and is a stunner. I knew of the bi-colors, but not of the ruffles. This plant is a new purchase and is already blooming beautifully, with more buds ready to open too. As I walked through the garden and spotted this, I also spotted another plant which has grown in my garden for over five years now and has never bloomed. This plant is Cimicifuga racemosa, aka Bugbane. What is it with plants? Some can come into their own so quickly and others take forever, still others never reach their hoped for potential and must be forgotten.

This question got me to thinking about life and people. It is the same with people. Children inevitably grow up to be people. Some mature faster than others, some never mature. Since the semester of Nashville State Community College starts this weekend, and my two new online courses are Philosophy and Entrepreneurship, I am going to be a bit philosophical in my ramblings today.

I know nothing of philosophy, just what I have looked up on the Internet and what I have heard throughout my life. You know, the Great Philosopher Aristotle said this....and that. Really, I know nothing but surmise philosophy has to do with reasoning, logic, common sense and life, mainly with life and questions about life. So how can I apply all this to my question regarding why some plants mature faster than others? And why is it the same as with people, even pets, and really any living thing when you truly analyze maturity levels of living things.

I think plants, animals, and people are genetically predisposed to mature and grow at different rates. Not only are they genetically predisposed in their habits, personality, growth rate, and so on, but the environment plays a big part in the growth of the living thing, be it people or plants or animals.

I have found if one plant does not do well in one spot, move it and it may do well in the new spot. It is so true of people too. Of course we can't necessarily change the location of our children, but we might change their growing conditions. Just as we do with plants. While plants may get less sun and more moisture in one location, enabling it to grow and mature faster, people may need a special diet, more or less discipline, a new group of friends, or more rest. Change the environment! Ah, maybe this is what I need to do with the Jimster, who, as a teenager is going through some growing pains.

Now, to the maturity level and why it all makes sense. Part of my frustration as a gardener is failing to realize not all plants thrive under the same conditions as its neighbors, and even if it did, it may just be hardwired to take longer to mature, like the bugbane. The iris is a fast maturing plant and pretty easy going, not so with the bugbane. My mistake is in treating them all the same and in not being patient with their desires and needs.
Perhaps MY attitude needs to change towards the plants, and my youngest son. Surely I can be more patient and understanding when it takes FIVE years for one single plant to bloom, and surely I can be more understanding when the Jimster takes much longer to fully understand responsibility and hard work? Yes, I think I can. Perhaps my maturity level or expectations are not quite in sync with the plants and the youngest child. We shall see! At least there is hope, the bugbane looks as if it will finally bloom, and Jimmy will mature into a fine young man, I just know it and I have faith....now on to the patience thingy.

in the garden....


  1. What an interesting analogy...

    Waiting on the window man to show up with my new windows!

    Everyone have a good day...

  2. Tina,

    Elizabeth Lawrence would have chucked that plant out after a few years! I am glad you keep them.. this year I have plants blooming that I haven't had blooming for years! We have a bit more rain than the last couple of years (or so it seems).

    I was hoping you were going to be attending classes here so we could visit...I would love to take you to Growild whe I go!


  3. Boy! I have alot of maturing going on this summer, after neglecting my beds for 3 years, they are taking off and love the attention. Weeded my perennial bed yesterday and will topsoil them again today. Now on to Zack......he needs a job!

  4. With mother nature you can do lots of things, but she has the final word.

  5. Good morning all!

    Skeeter, I just couldn't resist. You know me and analogies. But doesn't it make sense-even with animals? btw, I saw your beautiful kitties on the Leaf and think they are gorgeous. Black as midnight.

    Gail, You just can't give up on plants anymore than you can give up on people. Elizabeth would be giving up too soon. As long as a plant does not look bad and I have room, it stays. Now those hybrid teas have gone into the garbage. That is about it. I wish I could come to Nashville but no horticultural classes. So online it is. It IS HARD! Lots of work! I am behind already and we just started. But after June I think I will have more time and we can set up a day. I have never been to Gro Wild and I would love it, especially with someone who knows the owner!:)

    Dawn, Get that big boy a job for sure! He should be helping dad out in the shop. That makes sense. More than big enough to lift the heavy stuff and turn some nuts and bolts. Glad you are getting to the gardens. Sounds like you mom are having fun at it.

  6. Losta true words in this post!!

    Dawn, since Zack has helped his Dad for a few years already, just put him on the books and make him work mega hours!!

    Skeeter loam is soil, and boy is this nice soil. Black gold!!

    The dump truck could not get all the way to the garden spot because of that monster slide that I got from the school playground. So Papa will sheel in in the whelbarrow and I will spread some and he will spread some also. Now I am off to do it!! Will have to check in on all the other blogs later as I want this job OVER WITH.

  7. Ah, so true. Sometimes plants (and people) need a little nudge to grow into their maturity. I'd like to think that's what I'm getting with this whole house situation I'm in. I sure feel like I've begun to bloom here!

  8. MOM- I had to take philosophy and I really hope your teacher is alot better than the short mean man that I had! Good luck.

  9. Gail, send me a few buckets of rain! LOL...

    The window guys are here and installing the windows. I am up here in the cool office stealing some AC.. Poor guys having to work in the hot humid stuff we are having today. They said last Friday was worse so today is not that bad on them. They have all 9 windows out of the sunroom and the heat is rolling in! arggggg... I have the ac up but only cool upstairs... I keep making them take breaks for sweet tea, yuck they prefer sweet over the non sweet anyway, they are sipping away at the tea and munching on cookies and brownies I made for them. They said no one hardly ever offers then any thing to drink when on a sight. I think that is not very Southern of those people! LOL. I keep them happy and they are doing an excellent job for me..... I take care of them and they take care of me.... Saint came home for lunch to check in on the progress and I made him a sandwich but would not let him have any sweets. I told him they are for the working guys and not him… LOL. He will get any left over’s later this evening….

    Tina, I will have to go back and see the posting I did as I cannot remember which pictures I posted of the fur girls....

    Back to supervise now....

  10. I enjoyed your philosophical post and analogies, Tina, and have seen many a plant or person that takes time to shine.
    But plants also take room to shine, something a lot of us simply don't have [I think EL's garden was pretty small by most standards, but was still twice as big as mine.]

    We've been living on this quarter acre less than four years so the beauty of maturity is yet to come for most of our garden. Good luck to your bugbane - it's now supposed to be called Actaea instead of Cimicifuga, but I like the old name better.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  11. Hi Tina, you really are in the philosophical mode, and it makes for great reading! Jimmy will grow up to be a fine man, just like you said, he is at a very difficult age, not a child, and not an adult yet. He will find his way, with your help and guidance, but not too much of either. They have to figure it out for themselves, in the meantime, you offer lots of unquestioning love. My very wise and difficult at that age daughter, Chickenpoet told me that those hardest to love needed love the most. She may have been speaking about herself, for she was a tought one, but has turned out beautifully. Faith and patience, just like gardening. Edith Wolford is a beauty, I had one, and may still somewhere, but haven't seen her bloom in a few years. Bugbane needs mucho water.

  12. Hi all! Mom, I sure hope you get all that soil spread. Must look great when it is all said and done.

    Cinj, Just takes time and all things mature in time. Soon this all will be behind you and I think your new house is special too. It is clear you love it.

    Skeeter, I don't know what it is about southerners as many don't seem as gracious as their reputation. I notice this with workers too. They are always happy for snacks and drinks. They get thirsty and hungry too. I think it makes them do a better job when the person offers up some hospitality. Makes them bend over backwards to make you happy-or so I hope. It will be so nice when it is done. Did you ever get your new couch? The two kitties were side by side sitting on the floor. So pretty-and furry!

    Annie in Austin, Thank you so much for the new name on the bugbane. It is hard to keep up and I had no idea. You garden on 1/4 acre for four years? I bet your garden will reach its full potential (in your view) in another year, but I am sure all visitors think it lovely already.

    Frances, My mother says I am too smart and maybe a bit intellectual with my postings, every now and then I have to change it up. We are all people and have many complexities. You saying the nice things about Jimmy and I mean bunches to me since you have met us all. It is challenging growing teens. We all know this. I like your advice-not too much of anything as he will have to find his way. How so very true. And it is great Chickenpoet turned out well. Faith is sometimes what keeps me going with the Jimster, though the garden is another thing. I do like Edith's ruffles. Had no idea. I hope you find yours.

  13. Yes, I agree and believe that children (like plants) mature in different ways and at different speeds. I know I was terrified of growing up - I still am in some ways :) and here I am in my 30's.

    Your iris is to die for. If I ever see an Edith Wolford I'll snatch her up!

  14. Tina - I just happened to run into the new name on someone else's blog ;-]

    Our garden can't move fast - we're too old, it's too hot, too dry, and the house is 30 years old. Most of the garden money went to tree trimmers and to shed replacement so new plants must start out small!

    Potential is some years ahead. I'll try to be patient like you!


  15. How true Skeeter, I wouldn't be surprised if these guys made sure your windows are going to be sparkling clear! My guys have run into; needing a eye wash, tending a soder burn, AND even getting a dog bite! Nothing from the homeowner. Guys want out of that kinda job quicker than others. Haste makes waste.
    Okay, I lied about my plans for today. We actually went downstreet to the pumping station. The station had temp mobiles set up when the construction was happening on the pipeline. Some wife gardened, we got, autumn joy sedam, columbine, and bishops weed! Thought I'd be there all day seperating the bishops weed from the grass. The place is best know for its Lupine just now starting to bloom. Can you believe it gets mowed? 2x a summer. Thought I saw coral bells, have to go back soon....

  16. Once again...Dr. McEwen...He was the first to introduce yellow in the siberian iris. It was in 1977 and was called Butter and Sugar and won an award for it. Your Edith Wolford is a beauty!!

  17. Your EW is gorgeous. I will have to keep my eye out for it. My sis-in-law has ordered me some Iris. Will get them in Aug. It's really hot here then but that is the time to plant them. I agree with the philosophy of people & plants maturing at different levels of time & space. But the end result is almost always favorable.

    Gail, it's good that you have blooms that you haven't seen in yrs. What a surprise, huh?

    Your right Dave. Mother Nature has the last say. Like the saying "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature".

    Dawn, glad you are getting some of your gardens prettied up. They will respond to your TLC.

    Cinj the house situation will be ok. Patience.

    Christinelynn sorry you had a bad teacher. I don't think the pupil learns too well when the teacher is not up to par.

    Skeeter hope you got your windows in. Did the guys do a real good job?

    Hi Annie in Austin, Frances & Amy. Hope your day was pleasant.

    Butter & Sugar, Jean. Will have to for real look that one up. I bet it was a beauty. I'll have to see if I can get one to put in my flag pole garden. Cannas in back or fares th away from my sight then Iris in front, nearer my sight. That's toward the front of the house. I have a plant in that garden I don't know the name {I call it Loyd's Plant for my brother as that is where I got my start from} & it never gets very tall like the mother plant. Maybe take a pic & see if Tina can help me id it. It's from Tn. I don't remember if it had blooms or not. It was at the end of their mobile & was almost as tall & as wide as the mobile. Hopefully I can put a name to it.

  18. Windows in and I am a happy camper... Was a long hot humid day and am tired so to bed I go....

  19. Hi Tina --hope everything went smoothly tonight. My mom just loved you! She said what a nice girl --she is very impressed with your knowledge of plants. I know I am too! It was a bit hectic here today --never this much fun all in one day:) You need to stop by and have lunch with me next time. The kids ended up in the pool all afternoon and then onto the baseball game for girl model. She did really well but was a bit grumpy getting tagged out once running to third --it was a force out so nothing she could really do about that. Thanks for the info on those pink flowers --I will surely relocate them to a much lower area. The two big stray dogs stayed at the neighbors and maanged to go over to the other neighbors and scare her girls --they were screaming to high heavens. She ushered all the girls inside and they didn't come back out --she had a rough day with wildlife --earlier they had a snake in her garage. Better her than me:0) I hope this posts for me --Hi Jean --Skeeter, Lola, Nina, Dawn and all the garden folks --must let you all know Tina saw my yard in full weed --no not full bloom, hahaha full weed --as in they haven't been pulled in over a week:0) Baseball season and children are upon me full tilt these days:) I shall try to get it cleaned up tomorrow --hopefully.

  20. Hi Amy, I am hoping your injury is better now-so you can get back in the garden. But I guess the fingers for the computer still work! lol

    Hi Dawn, Great you got some passalong plants. Be careful with that bishops weed. I think it is the same as snow on the mountain? It will spread and is hard to get rid of once established. Has it place though. You must go back and get some coral bells for sure.

    Mom, I will look up butter and sugar. Glad you got rain but sorry it stopped you from your task to spread the dirt. (my name for it all)

    Lola, You are such a good commenter talking to everyone on here. Love it! EW is nice. Love those ruffles. And you are right, in the end the result is ALMOST always favorble. Hate to think of the worst.

    Skeeter, Glad the windows are in. Let us know how much of a difference they make with the cooling!

    Anonymous, Now you know and I would not lie-your garden was in great shape! Lots of flowers! Not too many weeds and growing wonderfully. Nina would love to hear of her cleomes growing all over your garden. You'll like them. Thanks for the update on the two big huge doggies. So sad. Did animal control come and get them? They seemed sweet, not a bit aggressive but you never know. It was my pleasure talking with your mom and next time I will come for lunch. You are so sweet to invite me and always feed me! Girl model will be ok, many more outs to come I am sure but some runs too. Master gardener talk went very well. Not nervous at all. Now onto Sunday's talk-the big, big one for me. Then next Tuesday and finally a break for a while (at least until after the tour). It all goes by fast though. Too fast.

  21. I love the bi-colors in the iris. just remarkable! i also think that plants are like people--i loved your thoughts on that. so true!

  22. Thanks Tina for your kind words. I really enjoy talking to all. It helps to keep me focused.