Monday, November 28, 2011

Grudging Respect

Three toothed cinquefoil with its white flowers and sometimes straggly growth

Three toothed cinquefoil the following year showing a nicer form and an attractive fall color (click on the picture for a better view)

I often advise gardeners to be ruthless with unsatisfactory plants in the garden. This fall I am following my own advice by ripping out big swaths of plants in one of my gardens that was just not achieving the affect I wanted. I am looking forward to the opportunity to create a new look in the area. Sometimes, for some reason, plants find a way into my garden for which I have preconceived disdain. Three toothed cinquefoil (Potentialla tridentata, and now maybe Sibbaldiopsis tridentata) is a current example. I had often observed it growing in other gardens and noticed it was usually chlorotic, at least in part. I put it in my rock garden where it is relatively aggressive. I have had to pull it away from neighboring plants on several occasions. I got the plant as a table favor which was a bad sign. I planted it thinking that as the garden filled I would remove it for something more desirable. But now as I look at it with its red fall color I see it has formed a nice mound of foliage that looks pretty good. It is like one of my favorite movie lines, "Good night Westley. Good work, Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning." (Princess Bride)