Monday, November 16, 2009

But I hate Dusty Miller

Driving home on a grey rainy evening, stopped at a traffic light, I noticed these fantastic bright little plants. Wow. Such perfect light texture, just what a fall/winter garden needs, then I realized what it was I was admiring. Dusty Miller! But I HATE Dusty Miller. HATE!
Not just a little, but for a lifetime. When I bought my first house there were 4 things I had to do immediately. Rip up the carpet, tear down the lattice work next to the carport, take down the white plastic (fake) shutters and rip out the dusty miller. Not necessarily in that order.

Yet here I was admiring it and actually thinking about it in my garden. Yikes. Obviously this is something to ponder, no need to act rash.

What about you? Are there plants you used to run from that are now working their way into your heart?


  1. I use to HATE dusty miller. Now I just barely tolerate it.
    One time I saw a fantastic silver garden in Salinas CA. The groundcover was cerastium with clouds of dusty miller and upright soft spikes of Agave attenuatta. It was fantastic and I couldn't believe I liked it because it had dusty miller in it.
    I surprised myself. But then again I am easily amused.

  2. I've never heard of Dusty Miller, so perhaps I'm off the hook. I used to not like hellebores, then I saw several garden blogs with real beauties and had to get some, 8-10 different ones at least.

  3. I used to hate pansies, but I have to admit they are very useful plants for late fall and early spring. I don't think I'll ever come around to liking daffodils though.

  4. Yes, I used to hate Lantana because it was that I have it virtually every color, I'm realizing that I must like it because I keep buying it...strange?

  5. I can't think offhand of any plant I hate. I even like the green and gold edged sansevieria, which many people in the US hate, no doubt associating it with not very prime indoor plants in a corner of the office.
    I think plant dislikes often originate in associations or context. Eg in the Caribbean people don't like aloes and agaves, as those are traditionally planted on roadsides, dry dusty road islands or on the most barren spot in the garden and given zero care. The plants are often dusty, damaged or in need of water or thinning. Naturally, this does not make for a nice visual display, leading one to think that aloes and agaves are unattractive plants.
    I myself remember being offered some aloe maculata pups by a friend who ripped out a couple from a dry and otherwise barren part of her garden, which I only accepted out of politeness. What a surprise to see the size it grew in my garden, with vivid green leaves and with spectacular blooms every 3 months. I was then regretful I told her I did not want anymore-but later mine produced lots of pups.

  6. Hi Loree, I LOATHE Dusty Miller. The combination of the gray foliage and the mustard yellow flowers is just ghastly. Have you tried Santolina? Much nicer, in my book.

    I've had somewhat of a rose bush renaissance. Many of the 70s and 80s introductions were blackspot magnets and consequently garbage can magnets. But many of the new century roses are disease resistent, fragrant and work well in a mixed border. Hollyhocks are also making a comeback after I spotted a huge one with the most glorious cherry red single blossoms growing beside a parking lot. I got seed and seedlings and it's blooming now, in mid-November. Who'd a thunk?

  7. DD Michelle, oh my....what you describe sounds fabulous! Easily amused huh? I think that is a gift!

    Randy, you went from not liking to have 8-10 different types? I love it!

    how it grows, I'm just the opposite. I've come around to daffodils (in other peoples gardens) but don't think I'll ever like pansies!

    Conscious Gardener, you are not the first person I've heard that hates Lantana...but this multiplying thing is kind of strange!

    Nicole, your agave/aloe story makes me so sad! And I know what you mean about the Sansevieria, but I love it!

    Grace, LOATHE huh? That's pretty serious! I grew black Hollyhocks once (the flowers were black), they were lovely for the first couple of months and then got all floppy and ugly. I'm glad you've found Roses that work for you, they seem a very Grace-like flower!

  8. about the time i get all huffy about some plant, i will come across it grown beautifully in some stunning combination. don't think that will ever happen with arborvitae, but who knows?

  9. Dusty miller is just trailer park landscaping,
    it used to be old country but apparently it is propagated very cheaply because youll find it at the dollar store, lol. Cheap is whet most people think when they see it, i have declined to add it to my garden, like always, but you know there are some settings, gardens,and seasons in which it can look fantastic- jj

  10. I never say never with a plant. It seems like someone always finds a way to surprise me with some unexpectedly good combination that makes me rethink my former position. I didn't like raised beds, vegetable gardens, and I got sick of cardoons. Then I saw germinatrix's raised veggie beds last year and changed my tune.
    Although I'll find myself quite surprised if I ever decide I like petunias.

  11. One of the very first things I did when I bought my house was also rip out all dusty miller. But I've recently seen Flora Grubb use it in some gorgeous flower arrangements and I've been thinking about growing it hidden in the back somehwere as a secret flower arranging stash.


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