Sometimes, gardening is not about what you put in to the earth, but what you take out. I move plants around if I think they would look better (or grow better) elsewhere. And sometimes, only a few times in my gardening life, I have had to give up on a plant and tear it out completely because it won’t work anywhere. I hate to do it. But not quite as much as I would hate not doing it.
I wrote about Yarrow before, most notably in Lessons Learned from 2011. Yarrow has many good qualities. It blooms for a long time and when it is at its peak, it is glorious:
But Yarrow does not fade softly into the night. It attempts to hold on to its former glory as long as possible and then it collapses into a ungainly heap, with stalks splayed open:
This is the point at which I lop off all the spent blooms and cut the plant way back–simply because I cannot abide the messiness. Is it possible to be a gardener who likes orderly chaos?
So I have come to a decision. I have Yarrows in Garden 1 (G1) and Garden 3 (G3). G1 is a very full flower bed, and the plants surrounding the Yarrow help hold it up and then take over the space it vacates after I decapitate it. For that reason, Yarrow can stay in G1. But in G3, the two Yarrow plants are on their own; no supporting cast can help them look better. So out they will go in a couple of months, to be replaced by something with a bit more backbone next year.