One of the myths of gardening is that once you planted a perennial border it is set in stone and it will come back, year after year, exactly the same. That is not true at all, I look through pictures of my garden through the last few seasons and it is almost unrecognizable from one year to the next.

Just because a plant is labeled perennial it doesn’t mean it will be there forever. Some, like delphiniums and columbines, only live four or five years, even in ideal conditions, while others, like hostas, garden phlox, hellebores and cone flowers will be with you for decades.

It is true that the main features, the ‘bones’ of the garden, stay the same, maybe an old rose bush, a couple of feature plants or a resilient ground cover, but every year a different bunch dominates the landscape, for reasons known only to them: one year it's the violets, one year it's nothing but bugleweed and blue eyed Mary, one year is hostas. Last fall the toad lily outperformed the sedums, and that’s a tall order.

I am looking at a picture from the year of grape hyacinths; there have been a few years, actually, and can't understand what happened to them, they simply disappeared. I assume they died of old age.

I love grape hyacinths and I replaced the defunct batch, but the new ones don’t seem to thrive, at least they didn’t last year. I’m hopeful they’ll pick up again if the weather suits their tastes this spring, I really miss them.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"; "Between Mirrors"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: and, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.