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What time? Planting time! Yes, even though it is still winter, I have all ready planned and ordered plants for my garden. And most of the seeds ordered I have got all ready, but have to wait on some until it is proper time for planting in my area (pretty much all the gardening companies do this). And, yes, I know I say this every year, but if I do get everything I ordered, and then it all survives the next winter I should finally pretty much have my garden done. Though there will be small open places yearly, but I plan to fill those in with flowers I can grow from seeds each year.

If you've read this journal for awhile you know I was really wanting some Purple Winter Creeper - in 2007 I ordered some bareroot and didn't have much luck with them. I was almost convinced the company sent bad plants, so in 2008 I found a company that sent live plants, and that is when I discovered the problem.

Just about every gardening magizine says that PWC will work in full sun to part shade - they are wrong. This stuff does not do well in full sun at all. I was almost sure at least two of the three bareroots of this stuff had reached me alive, and now I know it did - full sun killed it. Then out of the twelve plants I ordered, I decided to plant half of them and keep the others on the porch - good thing. Out of the six I planted in my full sun garden three died, and the other three would have but I finally let the weeds grow up a bit around the plants to protect them, so this spring I have nine plants ready to go (those that I kept on the porch are shockingly healthy). Luckily I have four places where this may do well. I plan to plant three out back in what is pretty much full shade like the conditions on my front porch. The rest I'm going to put on a north facing hillside and see how it does there, because that place does get more sun, especially now since the ice storm took the big tree, but I plan to put in some blackberry plants at the top of the hill (which should block most of the southern sun) so hopefully that will offer enough shade for my PWC.

In 2008 I also ordered a strawberry tree, and then I found out this tree doesn't tend to do well in my area (winters are colder than this one tends to survive), but I also learned during my research that it can be grown as a container plant. Now obviously it won't get as big in a container as it would in the ground, but I figured I'd all ready ordered so why not give it a try. It did green up nicely, but didn't produce strawberries, and then in the fall I brought it inside, and the leaves all promptly fell off... I figured I'd killed it, but then I was watering my plants a couple weeks ago and realized that there are buds on the tree, so perhaps it will come back and give me "strawberries" this year.
(I'm told these "strawberries" aren't good for eating but are great for making jam.)

And it does appear (at least at the moment) that everything I planted last year (aside from veggies) are going to make it through the winter, though I won't know for sure for a couple months, but right now most of the plants are either starting to shoot up some new green, though a couple still appear dormant, but they look green dormant not dead dormant.
The only plants I can handle are those made of plastic. ;)
I tried that back in 2004/2005, at least with the porch plants. But I started to get annoyed because with few exceptions those plastic plants simply looked fake.

So, after that I slowly started trying to remove all the plastic ones and replace them... And, of course, in about the eight or more garden spaces I have in the yard, plastic plants just weren't cost effective, I needed live plants that would grow and spread.