Monday, December 29, 2008

Plants I Mean To Have (Part II)

I had Daphne mezereum in my first garden, in a perniciously winter-cold river valley in northern Iowa. I was blissfully unaware of the finicky reputation and cultural requirements of this genus, and just by luck planted my daphne on a sunny, dryish hillside with excellent drainage, where it grew like a privet, blooming faithfully in earliest spring with the most garishly mauve, sweet-scented flowers, and the rest of the year looked rather like the ugly duckling of the shrub world... I loved it to pieces. To further clarify my taste (or lack of same) in gardening, I planted bright yellow daffodils in front of it.
I left it behind when I moved, which is probably also lucky, as they have a reputation for being very difficult to transplant, probably because of their very deep, extensive root systems; when moved they often go into decline and die.
So, I mean to have this shrub again, but I must find the right spot for it first; not an easy task in a woodland garden.
The photo above is not mine (since I am daphne-less at present); it was taken from Wikipedia Commons, for which I am grateful.

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I want one! I just might have the right growing conditions for it too :)

Amy... daphnes can be tricky, but this is one of the easier ones. I will repeat it can be a bit of an ugly duckling; it has rather a wild, somber, dry steppe look to it, if you know what I mean. I guess excellent drainage and loose soil are 99% of the trick to growing daphnes; otherwise they tend to just die suddenly on you due to fungus.
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