Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Good, the Bad and It Depends Where You Are

I haven't blogged for a while and have a lot of catching up to do. Of course, everyone out there knows that this time of year is more doing than thinking and I have been totally immersed in the world outdoors, plus my computer died. Now I'm back in action during the middle of the day when it's just too hot to be outside in North Carolina.

I decided to write about my experience in NC vs. my experience in Brooklyn, NY. It's amazing that even though I garden in both which share Zone 7, there is a huge difference in what goes well here and there and here and there.

Comparison of specific plants that grow well for me here (in my sunny hot location) and there (in my Brooklyn shade garden). Lest you say, aha, it's sun vs. shade, I know many of these plants growing in full sun at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in NYC and Reynolda Gardens here in NC.

Shasta Daisies.....totally a winner in NC and always a failure for my in Blyn.
Hydrangeas........totally a winner in NYC and not so hot for me here in NC
Oakleaf Hydrangeas.....the MOST beautiful flowers in my Brooklyn shade garden; just planted one here in NC....we will see. After all it's a native to the south east.
Day lilies..............totally a winner in NC and not so hot in NYC, except the NY Botanical garden where they have an extraordinary day lily collection
Hostas........I guess it depends on the variety as some do well here in NC but one which was spectacular in my Brooklyn garden did not do well as a transplant here. I tried seveal times iin the shadiest part of my garden; meanwhile,other hostas are doing great. Conclusion is that it depends on the variety.
Cercis canadensis "Redbud" ....Fabulous in NC, the woods are full of them blooming in the spring; a rarity in NYC
Crape Myrtles.....Fabulous and probably over used in NC; just beginning to be known and popular in NY.. Brooklyn Botanic garden has a terrific collection.
Balloon flowers....great in NC; never grew them in NYC
Lavender....Have great luck in NC with plants I bought in Long Island; never could grow them in NYC
Nepeta....Grows well here but really falls apart when it gets hot; much longer bloom time in NYC
Echinacea....They are fabulous in NYC and I wasn't able to get much bloom until this year, 3 years after planting
Rudbekkia....Great in both places
Lilacs...Unbelievable in NYC and very rare in NC. I've seen one this season.

Why these differences....Soil is VERY different. In NC it's clay and in Brooklyn, well it has more organic material and lots more rock. In NC the winter is about a month shorter so everything is at least two to four weeks ahead. Heat and humidity....higer in NC. Amount of rain; can vary totally. This year NC is having fair amount of rain and NYC is having huge amounts of rain. When I recently visited NY I can never remember, in the 40 years of living there that the tree canopy from the air was as green and lush as it is now.

Of course, the fall leaves are another topic as they are very different in NC and NY. Will wait for that until my October report. Meanwhile Ithink I'll go have a glass of sweet ice tea.


Lacy said...

I've had trouble with my day lilies. They almost look as if they're drying out/dying (leaves and flowers). I may have them in too much sun though. I pull out the dead/dry flower sticks and they do re-bloom they just look awful. I do cut them back to ground level in the fall and they start out very green and healthy but almost seem to "burn out" mid summer. Same go for the balloon flowers. Should I be pruning those somehow? I have them in the same spot as the day lilies. Any suggestions?

I love my crape myrtle & redbuds though! I think those are two of my favorites!

Miko's Girl said...

Look online for lilacs that do well in the South - not as impressive as those you are used to up North but a good attempt. The weather in Carolina is not cold long enough for lilac.

What variety hydrangea did you grow? I grew up in VA with Nikko Blue. I've had some great success with Endless Summer. Mine seem to love living next to the sprinkler head.