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Jun 18, 2017 4:32 PM CST
|Wow! I started making mistakes at age 9. We moved from apartment living to a home with a beautiful perennial garden. I probably weeded out a number of wonderful flowers. In that garden I learned that hollyhocks can reseed almost anywhere. Chinese lanterns can become so invasive that they will choke out every other plant in sight. And, finally, threaten a young lilac bush with replacement and it will finally begin to bloom profusely for the first time and continuously after that.
Over the years I've learned that rose campions will flourish in cracks in the sidewalk but rot in well composted soil. If you buy the wrong variety of lantana the clute little plant in the 3 inch pot will grow 8 feet long, 4 feet wide and 4 feet tall no matter how often you prune it. Every winter you can pray that a hard frost will be the end of it, but no such luck. You will spend a fortune replacing all the beautiful plants that it shaded out.
My shade garden could be seen as an exercise in futility. I give a recommended variety of plant two tries. If it dies twice, I know it is the wrong plant for me. Hostas succumb to the deer. Coral bells fail to flourish. Hellebores, brunnera, cyclamen, and oxalis love the setting. Dragonwing begonias always add color.
I've decided that yard art was invented to fill in spots where absolutely nothing will grow. I have one of those in a corner between two walls edging the shade garden. I finally placed a very attractive trellis there and stopped sentencing plants to death.
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