The Survival of the Fittest28th December 2010 • In The Garden • Stephanie Donaldson
I decided to take a gamble this year and leave outside some of the larger half-hardy plants that have a tendency to survive rather than thrive. Plants like the elderly Brugmansia that demands far more cosseting than I’m prepared to give it, the Leonotus leonurus that doesn’t flower until November, a yellow-flowered Argyranthemum that is 15 years old and somewhat straggly, and several other dubious performers. If they all emerge from the current cold weather reduced to a mush I shall heave them on to the compost heap and plan more satisfying replacements. Should any survive, they will have earned my respect and may receive better treatment next year. It’s a tricky dilemma this – if you’ve had a plant for a long time it feels like a betrayal leaving it to die, but sometimes it’s just time to face the fact that it needs to go.