I don’t travel much. As a matter of fact, all the flying I’ve done in my adult life has been because of blogging, and all my flights have been to much warmer climates than my own. Every time I’ve left my home turf, I’ve found the experience a little unreal. Unmoored from my usual routine, I’m bombarded by new food, new surroundings, and new people, and I start to feel like I’m in a waking dream.
Toto, We’re Not in Cold-Climate Land Anymore
It’s bad enough leaving your hometown to join over six hundred people on a mad schedule of early risings and late retirings, sandwiching visits to several gardens, thought provoking lectures, and conversations with like-minded strangers in between. But the plants . . . what did they do to the plants?
They Might Be Giants
They grow them big down there.
The heights that southern plants can attain in one season does give this cold climate gardener an Alice-in-Wonderland or Dorothy-in-Oz kind of feeling.
Your Plant Is Bigger Than My Plant
It also occasionally gives her fits of envy. Or maybe she is just starting to understand the handicap a cold climate imposes. Let’s start with rosemary. I’ve been very happy to keep my rosemary alive indoors in a container for several winters. It’s finally starting to attain some size. But size is relative.
I can’t tell you how many times I inquired about an intriguing plant only to discover it was a salvia hardy only to warmer climes. (We call them tender salvias up North.) But I had once attempted to grow Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ as an annual, so I had some basis for comparison.
I just might try this vivid blue salvia again, but maybe I’ll keep it in a pot like I do the rosemary and bring it in for the winter.
Basil is another plant that likes the heat, something I’m thankful we don’t have too much of. (The heat, not the basil.) Take a look at basil, Southern style:Want to see my basil? You can’t. By the time I got home, it was already flattened by frost. History. Black and dead.
They don’t call us hardy souls for nothing.
I think other big things grow in Southern gardens, but I’m not sure what they all are.
The South: am I dreaming, or is this real?