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Old 06-05-2010, 08:56 AM
 
9,431 posts, read 11,366,177 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston3 View Post
I think Texas is part of the south and I also think the OP needs to open their eyes....

But, Lots of the Southerns grow Vegie gardens instead of flowers tho...They would rather eat the fruits of their labor than smell it...

And my wife spends to much on new flower plants.......I need to have a talk with her about that...
Honey, is that you?
I'm a gardening maniac here in Texas, just learning about vegies, but I've planted everything else. I'm wondering if the OP is refering to exurbs where the houses are all new, therefore the landscaping is new as well. My guess is that suburban Atlanta is pretty similar to suburban Dallas in that regard.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:38 AM
 
Location: SoCal
5,254 posts, read 9,155,487 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post

Obviously you were not looking in the right places. Yes there are millions of "I've got mine- I"m richer than you " houses in Atlanta but these people are too busy going to fund raisers, fighting ther ungodly traffic, and trying to impress their neighbors with elaborate catered parties and $2,000 hand bags to even think about getting their hands dirty..
Hey now, my wife has several $2,000 handbags and I get my hands dirty in the garden.

I am a newly self-discovered "garden-addict" myself. Having lived in California for 20+ years and never had an interest in gardening, I've discovered this passion after moved to the south (Alabama) recently. Maybe it's because of the new house, maybe it was a lack of other 'distractions', but I've planted trees, flower beds, raised beds and container gardenings since. I am having lots of fun with it. It sure beats playing golf.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,497 posts, read 45,482,905 times
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I didn't realize I was so off the grid in my handbag collection. We have enough money to buy anything we want and go anwhere we want but I have never even thought of buying one $2,000 handbags much less several.

I have however gladly forked over $100 for one single special daylilly. To each their own.
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
74,870 posts, read 87,287,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Houston3 View Post
I think Texas is part of the south and I also think the OP needs to open their eyes....

But, Lots of the Southerns grow Vegie gardens instead of flowers tho...They would rather eat the fruits of their labor than smell it...

And my wife spends to much on new flower plants.......I need to have a talk with her about that...
I totally agree with you and many in the south grow both beautiful flowers and produce. If the OP thinks this isn't the case, come to AR and see what we have in our yards? Of course remember there are also fruit trees and pecans for starters.

My first real experience with a garden was in VA. I had always planted a few flowers and maybe had a couple of hanging baskets plus some cukes for eating, but when we moved to VA I started growing veggies, doing more canning, planting the front yard with annuals, enjoying the tulips and all the other bulb flowers plus the Azaleas etc.

I don't have a clue what she/he was thinking or where in Atlanta they were living.

Nita
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Albemarle, NC
7,730 posts, read 12,920,285 times
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Azaleas, camellias, gardenias, loropetalum, lilies, vitex....Yeah, we know nothing about gardening in the South. While few are native, they are the ubiquitous Southern plants we all know and love.

btw...the Magnolias are blooming today. As is the bee balm.

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Old 06-05-2010, 10:05 PM
 
4,043 posts, read 6,418,750 times
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OK. Taking a deep breath first. Then allow me to start by saying...

Mod Cut

Not in a million years would I have thought that my post would cause this type of reaction. I was quite taken aback to see that someone even suggested the purpose of my post was "flaming". Speechless.
I can assure you I was nowhere close to plotting a "North vs. South" battle (though I can understand how lots of people in this country have a subliminal wish to get involved in one whenever they perceive a chance for it); neither was I trying to "pump up" our new location, just because we are here now and no longer in the South. I have no particular sentimental attachment neither to the South nor to the North, so I can ensure a decent amount of objectivity on the topic (and to the lady who snapped "enjoy your ice and cold, I'll be in the garden": this was highly unnecessary).

I simply stated what my very-wide-open eyes saw for 12 years in a row in the larger Atlanta area + Georgia + Alabama - in sharp contrast to what my eyes are seeing now during my first summer in Massachusetts. It is a huge difference!!

If need be, I will state it again because I know very well what I saw.

Given my very limited knowledge of gardening, it is possible that I may have chosen the wrong words in getting to what I was trying to get to. Perhaps I should not have said "gardens" - which is obviously too generic.
I will take your word for it that there are tons of gardens in the South (hidden in the back and which my "closed eyes" failed to see); but I was simply talking about adornment of mainstream houses and their immediate surroundings: particularly, flower displays in windows, on front porches, in the front garden, hanging baskets, you name it. Just colorful flowers to make the house loom prettier.

I was not talking about people with a gardening hobby - in the back!!

For 12 years in a row I saw the endless suburban sprawl of Atlanta, with new real estate developments and not one flower in the window or anywhere. Just dry house next to dry house - most without any flower baskets hanging anywhere, or flower beds in the front, or any sort of small flower garden in the front. You could tell that a few would hire some landscaping company to do some work - but it was clearly not something the owner did himself. I simply thought that the very hot and humid climate may not allow for the kind of flowers that can be placed in windows, porches, etc. I don't know.
But If you show me in the Atlanta area the avalanche of flower beds and hanging baskets and personalized front gardens that I see right now in Massachusetts, I'll eat them all up like a goat.

As for geraniums...do you really think I would have been so insane to fly over the ocean three cuttings with the roots covered in soaked cotton balls - if I had seen a single one anywhere in the South?
If geraniums are plenty in the South, like one poster suggested, then what's with the guys at Pikes saying this:

Pike's Picks - Pike Nurseries

"How long have we envied our Northern neighbors as their porches and containers spill over with gorgeous red geraniums on a hot summer day? The time for envy is over...a superior new geranium for the south has arrived!"

I do think that one of the posters nailed the real reason behind the clear difference between the Atlanta area and MA: the horrid Atlanta traffic, the terrible suburban sprawl, people too busy to care about flower pots when they spend 2-3 hours a day commuting back and forth from work.

But then again, Massachusetts is not exactly a laid-back "siesta" type place either. Yet ALL houses are bursting with colors from flowers - not just those where the owner has a special interest in gardening.

My question remains though: if we move back to the South, should I expect any success in growing some geraniums there? Did anyone have any luck with those Calliope types?

Thanks again.

Last edited by Rance; 06-10-2010 at 02:56 PM..
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:36 PM
 
4,043 posts, read 6,418,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollytree View Post
I think Syracusa's post shows how easy it is for Europeans to make generalizations about the USA from having seen or lived in just a few places. Often, they don't seem to realize how vastly different our regions can be.
Hollytree,

I was very specific about the areas I was discussing. No generalizing there.
But if you think my post was making "generalizations about the USA" ...I don't know what to say to that. But since we're speaking our minds here, here's what I think: for every European ready to make generalizations about the USA (oh, the sin!), there are 10 touchy Americans ready to denounce Europeans who fail to think that EVERYTHING about the ENTIRE USA is well...somewhere in the ballpark of perfect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollytree View Post
As far as gardening goes, I think there are a few climatic factors that do come into play. Water, more abundant and cheaper up north than down south, encourages gardening. A shorter growing season encourages New Englanders to garden quickly and a lot! Cooler summers means one can work in a garden. When I lived in the south, the last thing I wanted to do was dig when it was 90 or 100. But, are there loads of lush flower gardens down south? Of course there are !!!!
Now, this makes sense. Perfect sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollytree View Post
Another thing I have noticed (mostly from watching HGTV- blush) is that Europeans will gut historic structures and have no problem modernizing them to an extreme. Is this because they have such a plethora of historic structures? Or that they love "ultra modern" so much?
I also agree with this one. It could be that "yearning for what you don't have" or "what you really are not", which seems to be part of human nature. I too found that many contemporary Europeans crave the "modern" and "edgy" in their homes. Many Americans, by contrast, crave the "historical" and the "antique".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollytree View Post
I think many Americans tend to prize their older architecture and think it is a sin to destroy it by doing gut renovations such as in beautiful Savannah , Charleston, Providence, San Francisco, New Orleans etc. etc. They are much more apt to live with older kitchens and bathrooms, etc. than rip them out.
Then it must be New England. I confess I cannot connect with their idea of "antique" and "historical" and I do think they should rip those old "everything" out and renovate what needs renovation, but to each their own.
But dumpy housing or no dumpy, the area has a gorgeous overall look in the summer, again mainly because of the abundant gardens, leafy trees, flower displays and the works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollytree View Post
Syracusa wants a happy medium of renovation and, if she's in a dumpy unrenovated suburb of Boston, she will have to pay more to get into an affluent section. That's for sure. Same goes for all the other cities I just mentioned. You need a couple million to live in a nicely renovated part of downtown Charleston, for example.
We are currently just renting in one of the most expensive suburbs of Boston. But "dumpy" you can still find even here. By Southern standards, we're in one of those. The town is so pricey not because of the housing, which leaves a lot to be desired in so many different ways, but because of the "top notch" school district which is assumed to make triple-Einsteins out of your kids, every day of the week and three times on Sundays (yes, sarcasm present).
We have also visited other very fancy suburbs of Boston, and by Southerns standards, ALL of these areas have either dumpy, unrenovated housing or just plain underwhelming. It is probably the cost of living too. People simply do not have money to sink into house renovations. I guess.

But the gardens, the flowers, the leafy trees literally make the neighborhoods look dreamy and charming beyond belief - all despite the not at all impressive housing, even in the ritziest areas. So the situation with housing that needs some kind of renovation or improvement applies to the vast majority of houses in Massachusetts, ritzy or no ritzy areas.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:42 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,088 posts, read 13,316,660 times
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Why no love of gardens among mainstream Southerners?..

Atlanta is not exactly a representative sampling of the south. Augusta does landscaping quite well, as does Richmond, Greensboro, Durham, Charleston, Memphis, New Orleans, Biloxi, Savanna, Nashville. As for Atlanta......Well.......ever since the Yankees burned it, it has never been the same.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:37 AM
 
9,431 posts, read 11,366,177 times
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For 12 years in a row I saw the endless suburban sprawl of Atlanta, with new real estate developments and not one flower in the window or anywhere. Just dry house next to dry house - most without any flower baskets hanging anywhere, or flower beds in the front, or any sort of small flower garden in the front. You could tell that a few would hire some landscaping company to do some work - but it was clearly not something the owner did himself. I simply thought that the very hot and humid climate may not allow for the kind of flowers that can be placed in windows, porches, etc. I don't know.>>

I think that's your answer. It's the same thing here in Texas in the suburban sprawl. In Dallas proper, where I live, you'll see some gorgeous gardens. My street isn't all that old, c. 1960s, but I can only think of 4 or 5 houses where people haven't created some sort of garden up front, some more elaborate than others. Also keep in mind that with suburban sprawl come HOAs. The new neighborhoods north of Dallas have insane rules about landscaping...2 trees planted exactly here, this kind of grass, 4 types of annuals planted here or there...it's horrible. I'm sure it's the same in Atlanta, they're similar cities with a transitional population.

As for geraniums, people do plant them in the south and they're available in all the garden centers whether big box or local. I planted some last year but was unhappy with the results. Too hot here in Texas, IMO. I try to stick with drought resistant perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs whenever adding something new to my garden. We're talking a very different climate than up north when it comes to plants. Some of our perennials are annuals up there. The rain up there would drown some of my garden specimens. My yuccas and palms would never survive the winter. My lantana comes back every year after a winter sleep, etc... . I'm rambling but I think you get the picture. There is plenty of gardening going on in the south, it's a huge past time, but not so much in those sprawling suburbs. Heck, in our suburbs most of the people are from up north!
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
74,870 posts, read 87,287,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXNGL View Post
For 12 years in a row I saw the endless suburban sprawl of Atlanta, with new real estate developments and not one flower in the window or anywhere. Just dry house next to dry house - most without any flower baskets hanging anywhere, or flower beds in the front, or any sort of small flower garden in the front. You could tell that a few would hire some landscaping company to do some work - but it was clearly not something the owner did himself. I simply thought that the very hot and humid climate may not allow for the kind of flowers that can be placed in windows, porches, etc. I don't know.>>

I think that's your answer. It's the same thing here in Texas in the suburban sprawl. In Dallas proper, where I live, you'll see some gorgeous gardens. My street isn't all that old, c. 1960s, but I can only think of 4 or 5 houses where people haven't created some sort of garden up front, some more elaborate than others. Also keep in mind that with suburban sprawl come HOAs. The new neighborhoods north of Dallas have insane rules about landscaping...2 trees planted exactly here, this kind of grass, 4 types of annuals planted here or there...it's horrible. I'm sure it's the same in Atlanta, they're similar cities with a transitional population.

As for geraniums, people do plant them in the south and they're available in all the garden centers whether big box or local. I planted some last year but was unhappy with the results. Too hot here in Texas, IMO. I try to stick with drought resistant perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs whenever adding something new to my garden. We're talking a very different climate than up north when it comes to plants. Some of our perennials are annuals up there. The rain up there would drown some of my garden specimens. My yuccas and palms would never survive the winter. My lantana comes back every year after a winter sleep, etc... . I'm rambling but I think you get the picture. There is plenty of gardening going on in the south, it's a huge past time, but not so much in those sprawling suburbs. Heck, in our suburbs most of the people are from up north!
We lived in Lewisville, from April on you could see people in their yards planting their annuals, trimming the crape Mertlys (spelling) and hanging baskets everywhere as well as planting some veggies. Of course much of Texas has families from all over the country, just like most parts of Atlanta.
Yes, I think it is too hot for geraniums but there are so many other annual and perenial flowers and trees. I have seen the same, by the way in the burbs, among the newer homes in Texas.

The Op might see some difference because of the weather in New England. The cooler temps can help some flowers flurish better than the heat in the south.
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