There ought to be a group, seriously, for those of us who move here from other places and try to come to terms with the pure, un-rehabilitable clay. I'm not really gardening, to be truthful, but lately I've taken aim and thrown (literally: it isn't more than that) some things at the garden. You know, old standards like echinops for height and texture.
Anyway. At this time of year in my Oregon gardens, it was my habit to get up early and do a blossom count: ticking one for each variety of something blooming. I was greedy in my habits of collection and young and strong for things like double digging. It wasn't unusual for us to have more than a hundred different plants in bloom.
In the backyard of our Colorado house, I've tossed out a few things here and there, hoping for little and generally being rewarded in kind. Recently I've paid a bit more attention and found seventeen different plants in bloom. I'm mildly bothered that I no longer know the names of most of them, by which I mean their species. But I set out on a little count today and found 18 different things in bloom.
One big mistake I made when moving here was to try to continue my love affair with single roses -- you know, the ones that have only a row of petals. Colorado sun just cooks them, while their centifolia (100-petaled) relatives shine merrily on.
I don't love gardening here and maybe I never will. This is a great loss to me, a real sorrow. But it is good to look at what remains and now and again to do a blossom count.