As a doctor (okay, as a veterinarian), there are several symptoms that are diagnostic for the disease that I hereafter dub "Garden Dishevelment Disorder", or GDD. By listing them below, I hope to do humanity and gardeners everywhere a service. Knowing and admitting you have the disease gets you halfway to a cure.
1. Do you frequently read a marvelous article in Fine Gardening about, for instance, Camellias, and resolve to purchase and attempt to grow every last Camellia cultivar you can find, despite gardening in the USDA Zone 2 regions of Alaska?
2. Do you impulse buy plants at Big Box stores or at supermarkets, without the slightest idea of the plants identity or cultural requirements, merely on the basis of flower appearance or cost?
3. Do you often buy plants without the slightest idea of where you are going to plant them? Include and admit here all those plants you've purchased with the knowledge that a particular bed is full, but the belief that you just might still be able to "spoon it in."
4. Do you collect plants in certain genera with no thought given to where they fit in your overall garden design or if they are, in fact, appealing on a grand garden scale?
5. Do you create new beds for your garden without thought given to garden design, but merely to expand the number of plants you can grow?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you have GDD. If you answered yes to all of them, as I do, then you need real help, deep long-lasting help, to even pretend that you have a garden rather than being a simple obsessive/compulsive plant hoarder.
This winter, I looked more closely than ever at the plants that grow well here on the prairie, at the plants that add to my overall garden design, and at the plants that I just enjoy growing. From that self-garden-examination, I've resolved, as evidenced by recent purchases, to go back to my rose roots (sic). There are not many other genera (okay, maybe daylilies and peonies) that are as effortless to grow well on the prairie as Old Garden Roses are. And I might as well face it. Deep at heart, I'm a rose gardener. A rose (Mirandy) was the first plant I bought when we purchased our first home, and I still can't walk past a new rose at any store without determining if it is worthwhile to purchase.
To begin my transition back to more roses, my plant purchases this year so far have been 15 mail-order and three local potted roses. I'm expanding from OGR's to some more modern roses, since I'm now theoretically Zone 6 and I have a prayer of getting a Hybrid Tea intact through winter. I've got 5 more roses on order and I'm looking today for two shrubs and a tree to fill a couple of holes. But the large, impossible to transplant, Miscanthus's (Miscanthi?) that I've eliminated from the borders are being replaced by roses. And I think I can squeeze a couple of more roses into the "hydrangea bed". And maybe I can add a new bed or two, and dedicate them specifically to roses.....