Garden Failures

Most gardening magazine articles I read show gorgeous photos and breathtaking beauty--success, success, success. But every garden has its problem areas. Every gardener has her failures (at least I hope I'm not alone).

Here are a few of my particularly annoying failures. That 'Valencia' orange tree, for example, simply won't grow. It's the same size it was 5 years ago. Grrrr!! I have another of the same variety that is large, deep green, and fruitful, bearing oranges which are sweet, juicy, and delicious. Success and failure are only 10' (3 m) apart, get the same sun and water, the same soil. Vexing!

Here's a classic trouble spot, and I'm not even talking about that lawn. Morning sun only, but normally gentle morning sun sun made blazing hot due to reflected light off the pale stucco. Adjacent to the patio, a need for access makes the planting bed too narrow for anything substantial.

I've been struggling with this spot since the original Sasanqua Camellias failed here. That Carex 'Toffee Twist' doesn't work, obviously. I tried a dwarf Hydrangea that found the spot too hot and dry. Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' died. Fuchsias vanished because the dogs slept on them. I do have three (three!) pots of Coprosma 'Tequila Sunrise'. Maybe? The bright colors and glossy texture of the Coprosma might provide dramatic contrast to the Carex...if I can fit them all in...

Here's another disaster catty-corner from the other disaster.

There were several more extremely unhappy Sasanqua camellias here that declined to the cusp of death. I put them out of their misery. They were poor specimens to begin with, then over watered. I'm too embarassed to comment on that begonia, but I now have some hope for this area: I've put in two miniature sized ('Miss Minipenny') and one medium sized Hydrangea ('Endless Summer') that I hope will be happy in the shady, moist conditions. There's also some dormant clumps of Hakonechloa macra there. We'll see how it looks in a few months. A foreground of bedding begonias would be good, but the dog will just pee on them until they turn into black mush. Take a bow, puppy:

There's also a new rose there on left, 'Easy Does It', which is likely in precisely the wrong spot. I wanted to get it into the ground somewhere, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but it probably wasn't. Another garden failure in the making. One gets fixed, another created. At least I hope one got fixed...I have the feeling I'll be moving that rose and moving the 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea into that spot when the two theoretically "dwarf" 'Miss Minipenny's get going. I have to explain this?