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Welcome to My Jungle

Know your garden and choose plants wisely

A blue poppy flower.

Looking through garden plant images often leads me to reminiscence about the plants no longer in my garden and what each death has taught me. Many plant species have died at my hands after being planted in unsuitable conditions because my desire to have them overrode some very real limitations in my garden. Take for instance the blue poppy (Meconopsis spp.). They thrive in moist filtered shade where the summers are not too hot. Why would I ever think I would be successful? It was their unusual color ad beauty that made me tempt fate…and reality.  My garden is hot and dry, so it was a quick and painful death. As a result, I made a rule for myself “kill three, you ’re out.” You might ask, why three? Was once not enough? For the blue poppy, once was enough; there was no chance it would grow anywhere in my garden, and I should have accepted that from the beginning. But for something like Indian pinks (Spigelia marilandica), it can be tricky to find the right spot, but easy to establish if you do. It has made my kill list because I chose a site unwisely on occasion, yet I have several well-established plants in sites where I got it right. If I had killed three in a row without success, I would have stopped there.