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Garden Reports and Rejoicing – May 26

We plant lovers can be overly optimistic bordering on the delusional. But if gardeners are smart, they learn to work with the conditions they’ve got. Oh sure, people will try to grow full sun plants in the shade, or buy marginally hardy plants and expect them to thrive. Eventually, however, most tire of plants not doing well and come around to using varieties that thrive.

I was thinking of this when I helped a customer in the nursery the other day. He had replaced Rhododendrons three times because the ground was super soggy, and his plants kept dying. “Why don’t you plant something that likes wet feet?” I asked. “How about a red Rhododendron?” he responded, “The ones that died were pink. I really want Rhododendrons.” I wasn’t getting through.

How often in life do we start with what we want, and then try and alter everything else in the pursuit of our desires? Sometimes this is admirable, but other times it sets us up for disappointment and frustration. Instead of staying stuck in the “But this is what I want,” there are times when it makes more sense to start with what we have, and find ways to build from there.

Plants in my rain garden don't mind standing water. Winterberry holly, red twig dogwood, Juncus, and Chrysogonum are happy in wet soil, and because they do well, I'm happy with the garden.


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