Just because a plant doesn’t do well in my garden doesn’t mean in won’t do well in yours. As I have explained elsewhere, my conditions are rather harsh (clay, cold site, heavy weed and pest pressure, no summer watering) and I don’t put in a lot of effort to keep a plant beyond the first year.There are so many things that could have gone wrong in my garden that may not happen in yours. I might have a particular disease or pest that you don’t, or maybe the plant really, really hates the wet, cold clay in my yard. In addition, some of my plant ratings will be based only on one or two observations from my experience. This is what we call in science a lack of replication or a low sample size. It takes many observations about the same plant from a number of different locations or by different people in order to verify whether a plant will do good in our region (Pacific Northwest, west of the Cascade Mountains) or not. That said, if a large number of people have had a problem with a particular plant in the Pacific Northwest, chances are you will too.
As a strong advocate for the nursery industry, I know the amount of energy, time, and skill that it takes to bring a new plant cultivar to market. This often involves a lot of effort put into creating a new and interesting form or color that we will be interested in as gardeners, as well as testing in gardens around the U.S. to see how the new cultivar will perform over a long period of time. Sometimes, even after extensive testing, a new cultivar won’t meet expectations. This is the luck-of-the-draw, if you will. Sometimes, despite the plant breeders best efforts, things don’t work out. As a result, I don’t ever want it to be inferred that a particular nursery or plant breeder is “bad” just because one of their cultivars happened to not do well in my garden. Gardening is a bit of a gamble. Most of the plants I have tried here, even natives, have died at one point or another. I appreciate the amount of time and effort that our nursery industry has put forth into trying to develop new, beautiful, and interesting cultivars for us to try in our gardens. You should too.