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I am so with you on this--I don't mind having to stake a tall plant, because I think they are magical.

One of the most astonishing things about 19th century photos of American gardens is how tall the plants are--before the breeders got busy making sure no homeowner ever has to use bamboo.

I love my 5 foot tall Japanese Anemone - "Honorine Jobert" - it started blooming a few weeks ago and typically continues 'til first frost. Growing underneath? Nothing - the basal leaves are attractive throughout the season.

I've noticed this too. It's irritating and confusing -- I wonder if its because gardens are smaller?

Yes, I agree.."can grow up to 8 or 10" tall is musical. My Plant Delights-purchased Jonesboro Giant Ironweed ...(probably should've written that in all caps) would be at least fifteen tall if I had the time to construct a scaffold. As it is, it just lays along the fence so passing traffic can see it bloom.

thanks for this rant!!

So true... I've ranted about this on my blog before too... The problem is, big tall plants that look lovely in the garden, tend to look lanky and terrible in a little pot on the bench in the garden center -- and are a pain for big nurseries to grow as they need staking, fall over, and get all tangled up in each other. Little round lumps of things are easy to manage, easy to ship, and look cute in a 4 inch pot. They ain't, however, worth much in the garden. Too many breeders forget they should be breeding for gardeners no producers.

Giant Joe-Pye Weed. Reaches twelve feet! How could I resist such a beast?

...I need MUCH BIGGER stakes.

Apparently the nurseries & the breeders think no one likes plants more than eight inches high. Too short for cut flowers, too short for anywhere but the front of the garden. This is happening to annuals as well as perennials (has been for years, but seems to be getting worse).

I love big tall plants. I'm fortunate to have a garden that allows the Elephant Ears and Brugmansia to reach for the sky. I also have real Bananas growing. Everything started out small and over a few years has taken off. http://mysisterdalesgarden.com/photo-gallery/goldfinger-bananas/

I was just at the "Edible Gardens" section of the New York Botanical Garden last week (wow!) and they had...CLIMBING SPINACH! You can have your tall plants and eat them too!

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