Monday, March 08, 2021

Pining for Lost Plants

One of the advantages of having a blog is that it becomes a diary of our garden progress through the years that we can reference to from time to time. It's been a handy resource for us for various reasons, and will continue to be so for as long as we keep updating it.

Butia archeri to the right, photo in 2014

Saying that however, I tend to hover more over the photos and rarely read through the old posts thoroughly for the fear of cringing at what and how I had written things before.

As much as it's nice to look back, one aspect I don't enjoy though is getting to see some of the plants we have lost through the years.

Losing plants is part of the process of gardening. And losses happen for a myriad of reasons, sometimes even deliberately so especially if you've decided to move on from them. And I don't always understand why I did that looking back at photos a few years later but at that time it seemed a good thing to do. 

Same Butia archeri above, taken in 2012

Then there are the plants that despite all the extra care you've given them, you still lost them. Like the Butia archeri featured in this post. To me it looked very pretty, graceful, petite for a palm, and very rare that I opted to keep it indoors for that extra protection.

It lived well under glass for awhile but when it started to show distress, it went into terminal decline pretty rapidly. We've lost Butias before (especially with winter 2010 here) but this one I lost indoors, sigh! And it's not exactly easy to replace...

As you can tell, when I looked back at old photos recently and spotted this palm, I found myself pining for it again. Oh how I wish I can get hold of one again. And this is just one example of a plant I still pine for, as the title suggests there are many and looking back at old photos doesn't always help.

I spotted this old photo of our greenhouse full of plants and again found myself focusing on those not with us anymore. But I do try not to dwell on those too much. There are also many plants in there still with us, doing very well and giving us joy by thriving in the care we give them.

What about you, have you lost any particular plant before that you still miss and somehow can't get hold of again?

Mark :-)


  1. When I look back at old blog posts, I'm sometimes surprised at how much I like earlier iterations of my garden. I miss certain plants as well, especially trees like the mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) and toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) I had removed last October. Their deaths were due to natural causes and, although they could be replaced, it's unlikely that any replacement would reach a mature size in my lifetime.

    1. It was shame to lose them but not much you can do if they’ve succumbed to natural causes. Onwards to new planting opportunities :)

  2. Yes I know this feeling! Pouring through photos to put together a presentation I did late last summer (on the evolution of the garden) had me thinking about just how many plants I've loved and lost!

    1. Can imagine, such a bittersweet thing to do.

  3. Oh Mark, I could have planted another garden with all the plants I’ve lost over the years! I made the mistake of planting the whole plot with tender delicate and fussy , often rate plants. All was well as long as I took cuttings and over wintered babies indoors, or molly coddled the fussy ones, then disaster struck. I had a car crash and fractured my spine, and broke many other bones. It took me a year to learn to walk again... and my garden, as you can imagine was left to its own devises. I never did get round to planting it up again with rare plants. Now it’s mostly cow parsley and wild violets, snowdrops and celandines. And I’ve been ill again, so the garden has had to do its own thing while I’ve recovered. This year I’m starting to take back the reins in the garden and take control again. But I’ve learned to just accept the losses and never look back. We can only move forward. I’ve always loved your garden and read the blog while I was in hospital. It helped keep me sane. Keep up the good work. Karen
    Xx ๐Ÿ˜˜

  4. I occasionally look back at my blog and it's always the plants that didn't survive that seem to leap out at me reproachfully ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I don't think that any of them would be imposssible to replace although some of my named snowdrops might take some tracking down. I usually think carefully before buying a replacement because I know that sometimes it has been my own fault that I've lost them so I don't want to risk doing it again. As you say though it's all part of the process of gardening ๐Ÿ˜„


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