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Garden journal entry


August 11, 2012. Right outside our back door onto the patio runs a strip of border plantings, between the concrete pavers of our patio and the foundation of the house. It's been a messy zone forever, even though it's home to plenty of nice plants. Trouble is, many of them are self-seeding thugs (like the Astrantia major to the left of the door) or spreading-smothering sprawlers (like the Geranium wallichianum to the right). I like 'm all, and I put up with the untidiness without too much grumbling. And every once in a while I'm rewarded with unexpected bits of beauty emerging from the mess. Like the Lobelia gerardii in this picture. It's supposed to be an upright-growing perennial, holding its flowers in vertical succession along the flower stalk. But garden conditions conspired to cause the stalk on this one to grow or lean almost horizontally instead. And see what happened: the secondardy flower stems that normally cluster closely along the central upright took off skyward from the lateral support instead, sending their flowers into a much broader display and generally making for quite a different overall appearance. I'd never plan it that way, but isn't it cool to run into surprises like that from time to time?

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Last modified: September 09, 2009
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