After many years of gardening in Idaho I have come to a conclusion about how I will grow my garden. I am tired of pampering plants, I am tired of buying some new beautiful variety to find out in a year or two, they don’t like my soil, or the humidity or the winter snow or the summer sun. I have spent a lot of money on “eye candy” plants that I bought ’cause the nursery had them front and center and they looked so beautiful in the greenhouse!

Aha, that should have been my first clue…. plants that look great in a greenhouse are going out into the rough harsh weather conditions of my yard and I expect them to more than to just survive, but to FLOURISH!
That may just be too much to expect from some plants. Blame it on the growers who promote their new plants as the biggest hottest thing going since the David Austin rose. Blame it on the nurseries who buy those plants from the growers, breeders because they know their valued customers need to, want to, are salivating for some new green, chartreuse or red leaved thing to put in their yard.

Delicate delphinium, just couldn't make it in my yard.  It needed too much attention! I am not proud, but I killed several of these!

Delicate delphinium, just couldn’t make it in my yard. It needed too much attention! I am not proud, but I killed several of these!

But I guess, really the blame is on me, who buys on impulse instead of researching a plant and its soil or temperature requirement. I don’t want to wait for a couple of years to see how the hot new plant variety tolerates life in the big world.
So now, I’m going to remember where I live- in the high desert. That means cold winters, intense heat, drying winds. I want plants that don’t need to be sprayed for worms, hand watered daily, pruned on the third Sunday of the month, to the fourth leaflet or …..
I want hardy perennials that endure heat, don’t need a lot of water, and will colonize where I plant them- making babies and large spots of color.
I guess I will have to go native! Native plants have been tried and tested and thrive!
Sunflowers are not native, but they do well here.

2 different bees on sunflower

These sunflowers require very little attention from me!


A self seeding Idaho native plant - pretty and bees love it!

Cleome: A self seeding Idaho native plant – pretty and bees love it!

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