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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – April 4

We would never expect that one child should behave just like another child. Boys or girls…we know that kids differ in personality, talents, abilities and temperaments .  Even siblings…hell, especially siblings, are often as dissimilar as night and day. So why do we expect all plants to behave in the same way?

I love ‘Otto Luyken’ cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken‘) and often recommend this shrub when a shade tolerant, low growing evergreen is needed. So when I moved to Poison Ivy Acres this plant was on my “must-have” list.  So two years ago I bought one and planted it, expecting it to be similar to the ‘Otto Luyken’ that I grew in my last garden. Sadly, the one I have now isn’t the same plant that I’ve grown in the past. Even allowing for differences in location, my current cherry laurel comes up short.

Reminder to self: when we’re dealing with living things, there is a huge “wild card component” that needs to be taken into account.

Yes, we're seeing winter damage on my 'Otto Luyken' at this time of year. Except, this is how this plant looked all last summer as well. This particular, individual shrub seems more prone to sun and wind scald in all seasons. Bummer.

This year I'll move my current plant to a more sheltered location, hoping against hope that it might someday resemble this plant that I grew for twelve years in my former gardens. Dark green foliage, little winter damage (even in a exposed location) and fragrant white flowers.

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