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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – February 9

In preparation for an upcoming talk I was going through my photo library today, and I decided that it should be mandatory for every gardener to review photographs periodically. During the gardening season, when everything is happening all at once, it’s impossible to stand back and gain a different perspective on things.

In the past I’ve written here about the Grayswood lacecap Hydrangea that’s under my kitchen window. I love this plant and I’m so pleased that I didn’t dig it up and give it away, which was my first impulse.

Going through the photos, however, it becomes clear to me that this plant is outgrowing its location. I don’t really care that it’s now growing over the windows, but from the viewpoint of photographs in February, it’s clear that the plant is taking up half of the pathway to the deck.

Next spring we’ll move this wonderful shrub to a new location. I might even divide it into three or four plants, and place them in various areas around Poison Ivy Acres so that the division that’s in the best location will thrive.

There are times when observing something from a distance is helpful, whether that separation is provided by the seasons or the vista provided by a photograph. Sometimes a change of perspective can supply us with the view that we needed all along.

Many lacecaps are only beautiful for a short time, but Grayswood starts out blue and white and turns to pink and then deeper red as the summer changes into fall.

Seeing the plant as I photographed it from above, however, tells me that it's now too wide for this location. Time to move!

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