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Garden Reports and Rejoicing – December 16

But it’s still alive!

There are some people who can’t get rid of a plant if it’s still alive. But to paraphrase Tina Turner, what’s life got to do with it? Not to mention that it just isn’t true.

I venture to guess that the same folks who can’t get rid of an ugly foundation plant have no hesitation in pulling out weeds or spraying herbicides on poison ivy. Many spread pre-emergent products on lawns that prevent perfectly viable crabgrass seeds from germinating. So life isn’t really the determining factor, is it?

Perhaps size plays the deciding role. An ugly large plant can stay, but the smaller, equally unattractive, weed cannot. Or maybe this judgment is made by who placed the plant in the ground in the first place. If it was planted by human hands, it stays as long as it lives. If nature planted it, it gets torn out.

There are times when a plant will never look more attractive than it is today. In such cases it’s appropriate to thank that plant for its willingness to be there…then pull it out and throw it in the compost pile.

It would be one thing if the bare spot was only on the house side. How about at least growing a clematis up the visible framework? Or what about planting another arborvitae really close to this one on the bare side? Painting the stems bright red for Christmas might be festive. Or maybe it's just time to say "thanks and so long."


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