Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Still Dreaming the Impossible Dream

Every gardener has his or her impossible dream.  Some of us try to grow a plant that the experts say just can't be grown, just to see if it could be done.

Years ago, when my spouse was in the military, we were stationed in Wichita, Kansas.   There, we met a fellow airman, Jim.  Jim had grown up in West Virginia.  He missed two things terribly:  bluegrass and azaleas.  Neither grow well in Wichita, a hot, windy climate.

Jim tried.  And he failed.  But he tried.

For me, in zone 5b upstate New York near Binghamton, the impossible dream is the camilla, a beautiful flower that is not supposed to grow here.  The climate isn't right.  It gets too cold.  I thought I saw one once in Brooklyn, although it was past the blooming season.   But Brooklyn is in hardiness zone 6b.  I've never seen one here in the Binghamton area.

So, of course, spouse and I decided we had to try.

In April of 2015, my spouse and I traveled to a camilla nursery in North Carolina where they specialize in cold hardy camillas.  We bought one, called April Rose.

After the buds already formed opened and bloomed, new buds grew.

In 2016, despite animals (we suspect squirrels), our camilla bloomed, for the first time, on upstate New York flower buds.

But, after that, buds never grew in the summer of 2016.  I suspect the plant isn't getting enough sun in our back yard, where we had to put it so it would have a chance to survive the winter.

This is what our April Rose looked like on February 18.  No buds.

It will not bloom this April.  Maybe, buds will grow or next year.

You know what?  I'm still dreaming that impossible dream, that April Rose will bloom again for me one day.

13 comments:

  1. I have been in my house now for almost 45 years. The first year we were here, my mother gave us some plants from her yard. One was a peony. I think it grew here for nearly 20 years before it flowered. Impossible dreams and patience is what gardeners must have.

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    1. Lots of patience. I wouldn't have 20 years for waiting now!

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  2. A tree might grow in Brooklyn, but this shrub...

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    1. It just might grow there. It couldn't do worse than it is doing in my yard, alas. At least I haven't tried to torture a crepe myrtle yet.

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  3. Global warming is helping me in my garden. Watermelon and cantaloupe are not easy with the wet clay soil we have until summer but since summer comes earlier, we had both this past summer. It is always fun to try something new. I wish you good luck !

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    1. Global warming is helping us in some ways but hurting in others. We are supposed to be near 70 degrees by weeks end but it may prematurely kill the maple syruping season. We've had late freezes after unseasonable mild weather that has killed fruit blossoms. On the other hand, less ice and snow isn't bad at all.

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  4. Keep the hope alive, it's always worth trying. I'll be hoping for you!

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  5. It's a gorgeous flower and I was lucky to spot some growing in a hilly area I visited last Jan. Brave of you to venture with this. I hope it blooms soon

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  6. Gee I look out side and I see plenty of snow.
    Coffee is on

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  7. Weather can really affects plants. But never say never, there's still hope. Your April Rose will bloom.



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