Re: [gardeners] cleomes (
Mon, 2 Sep 2002 00:09:20 -0400

Jeanne, this was the first year in which my annual cleomes
reseeded themselves -- and they filled the entire big bed!  
It may have been because in years past, I always pulled up
anything which came poking thru in the springtime, and
this year I could not get to it ....   

I find quite noticeably, however, that the fresh seedlings I
would plant each spring grow to 5 ft in height.  The volunteers
bloom and stop growing anywheres from 2ft to 3ft., with only
a few reaching 4 ft. And the effect of that uneven growth is
not esthetically pleasing.  I guess I do like 'impact'  planting, 
with 3 or 5 or 7 of anything grouped together. This just looks

I think I mentioned earlier that I've never planted a black-eyed
susan, and yet I now have 3 giant clumps, 2 first-year clumps,
and a dozen immatures ...   3 blue salvias came up, 1 exotic
daisy, all 48 glads, of course 7 of the giant dahlias, and the
"weed" which I nurtured turned out to be a 6ft tall windflower,
an enormous, feathery, wispy thing whose blossoms exactly
match the cleomes!  

The only flowers which I plant singly are what  I choose
each year for a border: blue ageratum.  I know I mentioned 
that we picked up and transplanted 99 volunteer seedlings  
this summer, and in the weeks since I could not get back
to police it, at least another 100 have sprung up. Again, they
are not uniform height (just like the cleomes) and so they 
fail to make a proper border effect. Normally they outline a
grand piano, the shape of the bed, and make a conversation
piece out of it... two of the plants are white, instead of blue --
proof that one cannot depend on seeds for cloning.  But
they are all healthy, so they stay.  It is possible that next
year, if I studiously sort the seedlings I lift out into matching
sizes, then I may be able to recreate my border ....

The 3 beds of New Guinea hybrid impatiens which I have 
out front are remarkably healthy looking but because the
3 rows of plants are on level ground, the effect is lost from
the street. I would have to build a dirt "spice rack" to elevate
the back 2 rows, to overcome that.  The red begonias which
I have always planted there grew to 18 inches, and showed 
off a bright red splash from each bed, but after 10 years of
begonias, I got tired of the look.  

There's just no pleasing some people, is there...?

Penny, NY


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