‘Carol’ in the garden

Baby it’s Cold Outside!  And when it’s cold outside, I prefer to be inside looking at garden books and magazines.  One of things I have enjoyed doing since I went to my first hosta convention in 2006, is collecting plants with interesting cultivar names.  I’m sure plant breeders understand the importance of plant names in marketing.  Who wouldn’t want a plant named ‘It’s Five O’clock Somewhere’ or in my case, one named ‘Carol.’  I thought it would be interesting to study plants named ‘Carol’ and determine if I share any characteristics with them….let’s see if I do.

According to searches on Google, Kalmia latifolia ‘Carol’ must have exact growing conditions including superbly drained highly acidic and organic soil with heavy mulch. I think that sounds a bit like me.  I admit, I have been described as a perfectionist before and this persnickety plant seems to share that characteristic.  I also like that my namesake Kalmia ‘has no significant negative characteristics’ and is ‘very striking in flower.’  I remember being dressed up one time, standing at the end of my driveway waiting for friends to pick me up for an event.  My neighbor, who usually only saw me in gardening clothes, said “You clean up pretty well.” Apparently, like Kalmia, I look my best in bloom.

Kalmia ‘Carol’ all dressed up

Hosta ‘Carol’ is another plant named after me.  Well, not really, but a girl can dream!  Carol is described as a medium to large size plant which describes me physically. Even though I am getting shorter as I age, I have always been fairly tall at 5’8”.  Like this hosta, I do ‘best with some shade and watering during hot, dry periods.’  Perhaps that’s why I have a large shade garden and drink at least 64 ounces of water a day! 

Hosta ‘Carol’

Peony ‘Carol’, a bold, dark pure red, is accented by a rose center.  I like that the ‘heavy blooms may need support in the garden.’  In times of difficulty or stress, I have found that I also need the support of my friends.  I’m lucky that they are always there for me, holding me up just like a peony hoop.

Peony ‘Carol’ looking well supported

Dahlia ‘Carol’ is a patented plant that has bright red-purple flowers and an adaptability to be planted in a container or in the landscape.    I guess that’s true of me too. I like spending time inside my home, especially on blustery winter days, but I am also in my element in the garden.  I can be at peace and thrive in either place.

The next time you doing an internet search, I hope you’ll entertain yourself by searching for plants that share your name.  Who knows what you will find. You might realize you share a number of characteristics with your namesake plants.  Be sure to share what you find.   

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