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Oh, I feel so remiss!

I haven't blogged about the garden for awhile, and that's mainly because I haven't been doing much. However, the fall season is rapidly advancing, and that means some work.

Of course, clean-up always dominates the agenda in terms of time, but fall planting dominates in terms of fun. Naturally, I've started planting.

My main addition – and my start on the "problem child" bed – was the purchase a couple of weeks back of a "hardy hibiscus."

This plant was not my idea. Mi Mundo saw a flock of them the color of flamingoes at Schmucker's outside Grabill on a fresh-corn run, and was so impressed he asked me if I wanted one. He said he'd even buy it for me.

Now, would I EVER turn down a plant? Especially one with such big, pretty flowers? And I mean these were huge, probably the size of lunch plates, if not dinner.

Also known as Rose Mallow, according to the tag, this plant is a relative of buttercups, which means it probably won't mind wet clay soil. The plants are said to be hardy down to Zone 5a, so that can put aside any debates about which zone Fort Wayne occupies.

From reading at www.davesgarden.com (one of my favorite Internet gardening sites), I find that hardy hibiscuses put out seed pods, and you can save the seed and grow from scratch, either by direct sowing or started indoors. Apparently all you have to do is cut them back after frost.

So we may be populating the whole bed with hardy hibiscus and daylilies instead of forthysia and bridal wreath. We'll see.

Journey through gardening season with Rosa Salter Rodriguez (feature writer) rsalter@jg.net, Anne Gregory (Web editor and writer) agregory@jg.net, Frank Noonan (copy editor) fnoonan@jg.net and Cathie Rowand (photographer) crowand@jg.net.

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