It seems a long time ago, but we used to grow irises. When the garden was young — and I was younger — we had all kinds of flowers. I know because I planted them. Over the years, the bulbs got eaten by various animals (probably skunk who really love flower bulbs). We also had some very long, very frigid winters and spring came too late for the spring flowers. That was when I discovered that just a couple of degrees of latitude makes a very big difference in what plants will thrive in ones garden.
Many of my favorite flowers couldn’t deal with the late (and cold) spring weather. I was disappointed and had planned to rebuild the garden using plants that grow better in this region, but by that time my back and I had reached an agreement about not doing all that bending. So I have more or less let the garden go. It grows many red and pink roses, white rhododendrons, and tons of daylilies and a variety of wildflowers. There are still a few tulips and a handful of crocuses. We have the most impressive butterfly plants you can imagine, but few butterflies. Maybe the multitude of birds makes them avoid the area? I don’t really know.
I had a lot of trouble growing butterfly plants, but once they got started, they began to grow like mad. They are not beautiful plants — unless you are a butterfly . Even when they flower, they are mostly big green stalks with flowers seven or eight feet up in the air. I sigh and just let them grow. I’m pretty sure they are trying to take over the garden and they might succeed. Maybe they will bring back the butterflies.