Monday, August 24, 2009


I suffer from one-of-everything-itis. I recognize this is a common affliction that mostly affects beginning gardeners. The joy of exploration is strong at first, and we easily wander through local nurseries grabbing this and that, whatever catches our fancy. Each genus and species we discover teaches us something new about gardens and gardening. For me, however, that impulse doesn't seem to be fading; even though I have started learning about design and composition. I've read the books that teach how to create dramatic scenes with a limited color palate and how to plant in drifts for maximum impact. But my question is, how will I know which plants will create the absolutely best, most dramatic drifts of color for my front-yard, full-sun, slightly-acidic, well-draining, somewhat-lean-soil bed, if I don't try out every single one and see how I like them?

In the picture is a Lobelia 'Monet Moment', and it is one of the many plants in my garden that I have just one of. I bought this from White Flower Farm with a birthday giftcard (thanks Mom and Dad!). When I planted it, I didn't realize how well the purple highlights on the pink flowers would go with the bluish new growth on the Cedrus deodara 'Prostrate Beauty' behind it, but it does. In fact I like the flowers so much, I might just buy a few more and go for a mini-drift after all. Or maybe not, I still have the whole family of foxgloves to explore!


  1. Oh buy some more. Just make sure it doesn't stay wet in the winter!

  2. You are absolutely right, and I am pretty sure I will. And I don't have to worry about drainage. For better or worse my lot sits on builders's nearly pure sand with a 6-inch layer of soil on top. My plants have happy feet!

  3. I did the same thing about grabbing one plant. Mostly you want to see what it will look like in your garden and how well it will grow.I ended up with many. I am trying now after a few years of it to rearrange them and group them so they compliment each other.
    Your Lobelia is very pretty and would look good in a drift. Threes are always a good number.

  4. I have gardened for over 20 years and still suffer from one-of-everything-itis. I does not matter how many plants that you have in your garden, or that you know you should be planting in multiples, every year you still find plants that you just have to have, and you do not resist!