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Old 01-28-2021, 10:04 AM
 
94 posts, read 39,844 times
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If you could grow a garden anywhere in the USA, where would it be? I plan to relocate and want to live in a place where I can grow a beautiful garden. Where I live now, we have excruciatingly hot, dry summers, hail storms, very alkaline soll, heavy clay and caliche, high winds, late frosts after weeks of warm weather, heavy duty water restrictions, fire ants and killer bees. We rarely get rain. We are usually allowed to water once a week, up to one inch of water.

I do have success with lantana, herbs in pots, plumbago, pittosporum, rock rose, Texas sage and pomegranate, as long as I water them (if I manage to establish them in a rare good year). I don’t use chemicals or pesticides.

I will say that the best thing that happened to me in 2020 was when hundreds (or thousands) of Monarch butterflies landed in my backyard because of all the potted flowers and bird baths. When they flew away, wave after wave of them rose up from the ground in a seemingly never ending display. It was amazing.

When I look at houses on Zillow, I rarely see one with a garden. I don’t want to move someplace where the soil is too rocky to plant or there is some other major problem.

I love roses (hence Katyroadpink, a “found” rose which turned out to be the Carefree Beauty rose by Dr. Buck), azaleas, hydrangeas, hollies, gardenias and fruit trees. I also love plumbago and herbs.

Where in the country where someone can put in a reasonable effort and have these things?
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Old 01-28-2021, 11:34 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
26,146 posts, read 34,638,046 times
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It depends upon what you want to grow. For your list, the Willamette Valley. Your fruit tree wish is going to greatly affect whether or not that area will work for you.
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Old 01-28-2021, 12:33 PM
 
94 posts, read 39,844 times
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Thank you, Oregonwoodsmoke. I’ll check that out. I would love to grow apples, peaches and plums. My wish list could get pretty long, if I let it!
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Old 01-28-2021, 01:02 PM
 
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There is no perfect place, but some are better than others. My friends in CO could only wish their water bill was $35 a month. On the other hand, in VA we fight acid soil that is sandy over hardpan. Anywhere with adequate rain in zones 6 and 7 would be ideal IMHO, but then you can't grow true tropicals all year.
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Old 01-28-2021, 01:13 PM
Status: "No longer very optimistic." (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
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I have gardened in New England, the Midwest, and now Georgia. I thought the south would be a wonderful place to garden, but it is the worst of the 3.

Anywhere in middle America that has good soil, and 4 distinct seasons will be the best gardening. Although the growing season is shorter in these places, just about anything will grow abundantly. There’s a reason why most of America’s farm land is in Illinois and Indiana, etc., even though they have severe winters....they have good soil and abundant water.
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Old 01-28-2021, 01:14 PM
 
94 posts, read 39,844 times
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Thank you, Webster. Is Virginia’s soil the same all over the state or are some places better or worse?
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Old 01-28-2021, 01:21 PM
 
94 posts, read 39,844 times
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Thank you, Gentlearts. Georgia was on my mind, too! I lived in the Atlanta area before and it was much prettier than where I live now. I also lived in Kentucky off and on. My grandmother had an apple tree in her backyard and made the best applesauce I ever tasted from it. If I had to pick out the five best things I’ve ever eaten, it would be on the list.
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Old 01-28-2021, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Virginia
6,947 posts, read 3,382,446 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katyroadpink View Post
Thank you, Webster. Is Virginia’s soil the same all over the state or are some places better or worse?
I also live in Virginia, and yes it differs with the topography a lot. I live in an area that is between the Piedmont and the Tidewater areas. There's lots of clay soil but that is easily amended. My previous home was located on old farmland close to a river. It was gorgeous loamy soil that grew anything planted in it. My current gardens grow well, so I'm quite happy here too. I've established 11 new garden beds with bulbs, perennials, shrubs, and trees in two years, and everything is flourishing. The old azaleas, hollies, and roses that I kept are still going strong as well.
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Old 01-28-2021, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
28,131 posts, read 18,483,027 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katyroadpink View Post
If you could grow a garden anywhere in the USA, where would it be? I plan to relocate and want to live in a place where I can grow a beautiful garden. Where I live now, we have excruciatingly hot, dry summers, hail storms, very alkaline soll, heavy clay and caliche, high winds, late frosts after weeks of warm weather, heavy duty water restrictions, fire ants and killer bees. We rarely get rain. We are usually allowed to water once a week, up to one inch of water.

I do have success with lantana, herbs in pots, plumbago, pittosporum, rock rose, Texas sage and pomegranate, as long as I water them (if I manage to establish them in a rare good year). I don’t use chemicals or pesticides.

I will say that the best thing that happened to me in 2020 was when hundreds (or thousands) of Monarch butterflies landed in my backyard because of all the potted flowers and bird baths. When they flew away, wave after wave of them rose up from the ground in a seemingly never ending display. It was amazing.

When I look at houses on Zillow, I rarely see one with a garden. I don’t want to move someplace where the soil is too rocky to plant or there is some other major problem.

I love roses (hence Katyroadpink, a “found” rose which turned out to be the Carefree Beauty rose by Dr. Buck), azaleas, hydrangeas, hollies, gardenias and fruit trees. I also love plumbago and herbs.

Where in the country where someone can put in a reasonable effort and have these things?
The PNW, West of the Cascades.

But you will have dreary, rainy winters. Spring here has been a revelation. It starts early and lasts months.
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Old 01-28-2021, 03:18 PM
 
94 posts, read 39,844 times
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Thank you, Bungalove. I love all those plants. You are putting a lot of hard work into your garden and I know it shows! Your place must look fabulous in the spring with all the bulbs. Some people have their dream home that they want to retire to but I have my dream garden.

I am torn this year because I found one of my favorite roses for sale online (Betty Boop - no photo does it justice) and I am so tempted to buy five of them to plant in a bed in the front yard. They are traffic stoppers when they are in bloom. They look so cheerful and make people happy.

I haven’t been to Virginia, but I always thought I would love it there. I will check it out some more.
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