RE: [gardeners] Our beautiful October garden

Rosemary Carlson (
Mon, 15 Oct 2001 10:11:23 -0400

Penny: I am virtually sure you're right about the azaleas. I had a birch
tree (European white) die from wet feet - chances are the azaleas are
suffering the same fate. Interesting, however, that the rhodies and kalmia
are thriving (and hydrangeas) under exactly the same conditions. Wonder why
I could replace the azaleas with?


-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of penny x stamm
Sent: Sunday, October 14, 2001 10:23 PM
Subject: Re: [gardeners] Our beautiful October garden

Rosemary, your message is most welcome after all this time!
I had thought that you were on a mountain rather near to
Lexington, but I see that Morehead is quite a piece away..
Certainly, when we lived in Lexington, it would never have occurred
to us to think of elk or black bears or bobcats -- I think that the
only thing which ever bothered us was mosquitoes...<g>...

We're zone 6 but winter is not showing its hoary smile just yet.
I suppose it's Indian Summer, for the only things which have
gone down are the lablab vines, and the impatiens which are in
total shade. Just yesterday my hubby asked me how come the
big flower bed looks so lush -- fertilizer..?  Nah, I told him, just
full sun and lots of underground water. Almost all of my flowers
are annuals, and they get Osmocote as they are planted, but
nothing at all for the rest of the season.  Interesting though,
the raspberry patch which should have fruited by September
is just this week producing -- very unusual.

We have one spot on a berm with full afternoon sunshine
where azaleas flatly refuse to succeed. When we dig them up,
they have almost no root systems at all, even though they
were planted with tender, loving care. And if I leave the holes
open for awhile, we get to see water at the bottom!  We have
dug all around the area looking for a spring or a run-off from
a neighbor's gutters, but have found nothing.  I tried a new
approach last year:  I dumped half a bag of small pebbles in
the bottom of the hole, and then set in the new azalea -- and
right there, the plants have survived!  Checking everything
out yesterday I was dismayed to see that my neighbor's
two 60-ft tall white pines are quite suddenly dying -- they
are in a long line of assorted mature trees which look fine.
All the needles are browning and dropping -- there will be
nothing left very shortly. And they are located right behind my
problem azalea spot!  I'll place a bet that there's water under-
neath that entire area, and when they take those two trees
down, they'll discover it....

I mention this because I am not convinced that your azaleas
which are doing poorly lack sun -- I have lots of them which
only get 2 hours a day, very early in the morning, and yet
they bloom wonderfully in the spring. More than likely, it's
the wet feet. With such shallow rooting systems, the roots
tend to rot away, and the plants simply die. You might check
it out.

Come on back again soon -- you're a welcome breath of fresh air!

Penny, NY


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