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Report From PIA – April 23

At this time of year I am in serious trouble. I’m tempted by plants every where I turn: in garden centers, at grocery stores, online and in catalogs, they’re calling “take me home!”

I’m intrigued by their foliage, flowers, history and names. “Heart’s-a-bustin,” how could you not want to plant one? A box with three of these Euonymus americanus arrived today. Not only do I have no idea where I’m going to put them, I also read that they are beloved by deer. Great! Just what I need, a Bambi magnet. Still…Heart’s-a-bustin has captured my fancy and I’ll put it in the garden where I can appreciate the red fall fruit.

We gardeners love new plants. We’re willing to give our hearts to selections that speak to us on any level. In this way, plants use us to continue their life on the planet… if a person is captivated by a particular flower color or foliage texture, they are likely to keep that plant around.

It is in our interest as a species to be charmed or interested by new plants as well. If we only had eyes for the old tried and true, and that erstwhile selection disappeared, humans might have gone hungry or without shelter long ago. An attraction to the new or unique serves us as much as it does the object of our affection. Or so I tell myself as the latest box of plants arrives.

This photo was taken in September, when the hearts were truly "a-bustin."  Broken or not, my heart goes out to this shrub.

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