Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rumors of Bolivian Sunflower's Demise NOT Greatly Exaggerated

This morning I spent 3 hours pruning my Bolivian Sunflower to a stump that will be taken off the ground and put by the curve this week. I'd have done it today (I want that thing GONE!) but the fire ants living in its hollowed branches persuaded me not to...

I had lusted over this plant for years; however, my love affair with this giganto bush has come to an end. Why would I want to get rid of such a pretty flowering bush? you may ask...here is your answer:

1. Not a well behaved bush- Each time I trimmed it it came back 10 times as strong and fast growing.
2. 70% of the time it looked like someone hang hundreds of dirty socks to dry on it (caused by leaves that died but still hang on to the branches).
3. It was shading my better behaved shrubs (Lion's Ears & Chinese Hat).
4. I prefer to use that valuable sunny spot for something that will provide us with edibles...some sort of fruiting shrub/tree will take its spot.
5. Its older branches would die and then become the perfect home for fire ants.
6. Its flowers, although beautiful, don't make great cut flowers (they wilt rather quickly).
7. In the summer (really, most of the year here in Florida) it tends to be water needy. Not a great thing when you are trying to preserve H2O.
8. Our garden has plenty of other beautiful flowering plants that provide nectar to bees, butterflies, hummers, skippers, etc.

I am also in the process of getting rid of all the Mexican petunia runners that spread all over the garden. Gorgeous flower but unruly plant. Generally, I find that plants that require a bit of work on our part are some of the most rewarding and well-behaved plants.


GreenJeans said...

Trying to hurry before IE shuts me out again...

Thank you SO much for this post! I almost bought one of these the other day. Now I'm VERY glad I didn't.

Gardening Fool said...

Hurry, hurry! If you have a lousy e-machine (the cheaper version of a Gateway) my heart goes out to you. We got stuck with one too. It shuts down and freezes whenever the sky is above us.

You are welcome SO much for this post :--) I am planning on posting more on other plants' demise in the coming days.

What kills me is that

***hurry! read up! I smell imminent pc shut down!!!!***

...as I was saying, before I so rudely interrupted myself, is that this past week end (against all my principles) I went to Lukas because I needed mulch and they have, scratch that, they USED to have great mulch. As I took a walk around I saw plants that are known invasive (bad, bad, bad plants!) in FL and they are selling there at a premium. I mean stuff that I call weeds! Truth be told it is not just Lukas...but I just really don't like them :-) (yeah, in spite of carrying some hard to find plants...)

It is too bad that plants are not somehow regulated to show if they are poisonous to pets or people, if they are invasive, agressive self seeders, or grow to become the monster under the bed...only now in your garden. For states with hurricanes I'd think even to add info on wind resistance...Gardening Fool for Governor! haha GardeningFool, FOR THE PEOPLE. oh boy, this post got too darn long...arrivederci!

GreenJeans said...

LOL you're too funny!

I think I fixed my computer. Not sure what did it but IE hasn't shut down on me today. Fingers are crossed...