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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – December 29

One of my garden missions for the coming year is to cover ground. I have far too many stretches of mulch in this three year-old garden, and these areas need to be filled with communities of plants. Although I want to fill these areas, I don’t want to plant many fast growing groundcovers that will soon become a problem.

In one section of my gardens I’ve allowed Oxeye daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare) to self-seed. Yes, they are weeds, but nevertheless have everything to recommend them. In addition to the cheerful flowers in May/June, the foliage is bright green the rest of the summer and fall. Unwanted seedlings are easy to pull and they are drought tolerant.

This weed is especially valued in this part-sun garden because the area 12 to 18 inches from the wall is pretty much pure gravel. This is good for the longevity of the stonewall, but a tough environment for growing plants. Oxeye daisies love growing in gravel, however…they are the perfect plant for this situation.

In and out of the garden, context is everything and there are always opportunities for growth.

Although this garden is covered with snow now, this is how it looked in November. All summer I appreciated how the fresh, green oxeye daisy foliage contrasted with the Heucheras and Japanese blood grass. And they grow in pure gravel! They grow in pure gravel!

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