I'm just about fed up with well-meaning folks who tell me that this plant or another is so easy to grow.
The sweet old lady at Lowe's who told me: "Blueberries are SO easy to grow here in southern Virginia. My sister in law's place is just full of them."
Mine dropped dead within days (I think it might have been hours) of their roots touching down. I felt like the Medusa of the garden, turning my blueberries to withered brown sticks.
The gardening "expert" who responded to my enthusiasm for poppies with, "Well go ahead! They're so easy to grow, they just grow about anywhere."
Anywhere must exclude my garden. I have the great poppy massacre in my garden. Two died, one hangs on and refuses to die. I moved it from its unhappy spot near the roses up to the front, full sun island of perennials and shrubs on the lawn. I hope it's going to be happy. But really, easy? Not in my garden.
The climbing shell flowers that Jefferson is said to have grown at Monticello? Can't even find their remains. The bleeding hearts installed in the shade garden? One struggling specimen out of five lived to tell the tale. The Virginia bluebells purchased by mail order? What Virginia bluebells? They never even made an appearance.
When you tell a gardener, new or experienced, that something is EASY to grow, the implication - unintended, I'm sure, but there nonetheless - is that if the plant dies: it's YOUR fault.
Saying something is 'easy' to grow implies that it will grow - and doubles the disappointment when it doesn't.
Next time someone asks you for an opinion on whether or not this plant or that one belongs in the garden, instead of gushing about easy it is to grow, talk about its hardiness. Enthuse about how you ran over it with the lawn mower and it lived to tell another tale. Regale your enthusiastic gardening friend with the story of how you accidentally dug up your iris before they emerged and you unintentionally split the roots only to have it redouble its blooms that year.
The truth is always that each garden is unique. Soil, light, nutrients, water conditions...many factors influence whether a plant will grow, flourish or die. Even the most tolerant plants will falter if conditions aren't right.
Thus my blueberries and poppies didn't like something about my garden. Unlike the coreopsis, which I am STILL picking out of every nook and cranny from where it self seeded in the flower bed, these aren't "easy" plants to grow for me. They will take more effort, and I need to decide whether the effort is worth the reward.
But really, please spare me the "it's so easy any fool could grow it" wisdom.
I may be a fool, but I couldn't grow it!