Our Garden & Jacksonville Garden Club Visit June 2008

One of my earliest really nice memories of sharing my garden and all the flowers, birds, butterflies with anyone was when the Jacksonville Garden Club came for a ‘road trip’ visit to Piedmont and a tour of our garden. I was so excited and wanted everything to be just right for them. No weeds, lots of blooms, a nice day, not too hot, not too humid, just right…..and as it turned out things turned out pretty much as I wanted them too. Well other than having to pull up about a dozen of my 2 year old echinacea purpureas (coneflowers) cause of an insidious disease called Aster Yellows. There is no cure, this disease is terminal. Not in the sense that it kills the plant, it doesn’t it just ruins it for what you have the plants for anyways, the flowers, the blooms……It deforms the blooms and they look like something out of a sci-fi movie. Blooms coming out of the top of the cones of one flower, kinda like this:

This is what the disease Aster Yellows does to the beautiful blooms of purple coneflowers. Then it dwarfs the plant, no further blooming like you expect and if you leave it in the garden other plants can get the disease and before you know it you ain't got no coneflowers.

Now let me tell you about when life gives you a lemon, well you make lemonade…..:-) Linda made these little signs on little wooden stakes that said on each one “R.I.P.” where we had to pull up any coneflower. It was bitter sweet but it was funny. You got to make lemonade when life gives you lemons and we did….:-) And my guests from the Jacksonville Garden Club thought it was cute too, the signs and sad I lost the plants. But I kept out one or two blooms in a plastic bag so if some of their coneflowers ever contract the disease they’ll know what it is, what it looks like and what to do about it…….But enough of that and more about my friends now from the Jacksonville Garden Club. You know when folks get in there car and drive half an hour or so to see someone else’s garden, well those folks are hardcore gardeners, hardcore like me. And it so nice to have so many nice folks who loved gardening as much as I do and appreciated what it takes to take care and nurture so many plants, what it takes and what you get out to it when you do….And what I got out of my work, well not work but piddling I call it, was a yard full of new friends who loved my plants, had all kinds of questions about my plants I answered and I learned things about what I was already was growing from folks that had been growing the same things a lot longer than Paul From Alabama had….It was just a great morning. Here’s some photos of our morning together.

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