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Garden Reports and Rejoicing – February 21

Gardeners often talk about putting the “right plant in the right place.” Usually this refers to matching a plant to existing cultural conditions. We want to put moisture lovers where it’s wet or shade plants where they’re shielded from the sun, for example. But right plant/right place can also mean finding the perfect choice for what people want to see.

I’ve occasionally gotten requests for suggestions for a plant that won’t totally block a view. There are situations where a plant with an open, airy habit would be best. In such circumstances it’s desirable to use something that naturally has these characteristics. It’s no use to install a variety that will need to be continually pruned and thinned, after all. Why fight a plant’s genetics?

When searching for see-through plants there are three that immediately come to mind. Verbena bonariensis, Viburnum pragense and Actaea racemosa ‘Brunette’ are three of my favorites. Yours?

The larger concept here is that we can usually find a solution to a problem or an answer for our particular situation or need. But it might require thought, compromise or creativity to find the perfect resolution. Be it see-through plants or other difficulties, taking a longer view can be beneficial.

You've got to love Verbena bonariensis. It fits in and among other annuals and perennials, is a great cut flower, blooms from mid-summer until frost and isn't huge and heavy. Reminder to self: buy seeds TOMORROW.

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