When a favorite plant dies
by Margie Lachman
How frustrating it is to lose a favorite plant, especially one that has been in the gardenfor years and is well loved. In our front garden is a daphne called ‘Carol Mackie.’ It issemievergreen because the leaves will be lost in very cold weather but are quickly replaced in spring.
Several winters that brought us lots of heavy snow bent the branches down to theground and the plant looks like an octopus! Although it is unshapely it bloomed last year withlots of fragrant flowers that perfume the air with a delicious scent for weeks. I tried tying themost flexible branches with bungee chords in an attempt to pull them into a more uprightposition. Sadly, it still looks rather dreadful.
Research has revealed that daphne plants don’tlike anything beyond light pruning. It would take major surgery and several years to renew theshape of this poor shrub. Any plant should not have more than 1/3 of it removed at a time. DoI dare try to save it? Would it be worth the time and effort?
Taking a good hard look at it withmost of its outer branches lying on the ground, I know that the best option is to replace it.
Should I replace the soil in the spot wherethe original grew before a new daphne is planted? Searching the internet, I found nothing. Since the Carol Mackiedaphne has been in the location for at last a decade, and because I have a pot of soil savedfrom another location in the garden, I will replace the soil and give the new plant the bestconditions for good health and growth.
It feels good to have made the decision to replace it.Now to choose which one to grow as there are many! I am very fond of Carol Mackie as shehas many great qualities, so unless I find one as lovely, I will most likely buy another of thesame.
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