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Garden Reports and Rejoicing – April 11

A shady slope can be a tough place to plant, and one that is next to asphalt is even more problematic. The sun, of course, hits the paving but not the garden, reflecting heat and making this area even drier and more challenging for plants. Geranium macrorrhizum to the rescue.

When I moved to Poison Ivy acres I knew that this was a must-have plant for the gardens here. I have a lot of ground to cover, so weed-smothering plants rule. I wouldn’t care if this perennial geranium never flowered at all. The thick, mint-scented foliage, hated by Bambi as much as it’s loved by me, is enough to make this perennial desirable.

After four years in my gardens, I see that this plant is on the move. In the shady area above this slope I see several G. macrorrhizum seedlings. Bless their hearts and weed-suppressing growth habits. This plant is taking hold in an area where other plants have faltered. Clearly, it’s the best plant for the job.

Yes, there are more exotic plants that I might place in this garden. I could go for unusual varieties and more colorful and long-blooming plants. Or I could acknowledge that when something works, it works.

Reminder to self: take this attitude from the garden to other aspects of life. When something works, maybe it’s best to just stand aside and appreciate how it thrives.

Deer leave this Geranium alone, it out-competes weeds, does OK in part shade and is drought tolerant. Even if it didn't flower at all I'd love this plant.

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