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Saturday, October 23, 2004

A beautiful groundcover 

I took pictures of a gorgeous groundcover while in North Carolina and I'll be danged if I can figure out how to download the pic from my pda. So doing one of the things I'm pretty good at I started searching it out online. And I found it. Hedera colchica Dentata Variegata more commonly known as Persian Ivy grows well in sun or shade and is hardy to zone 10. The one I saw had much more white in the leaves and the pink edging provided an excellent contrast.

As I was searching out this plant in my reference books it suddenly occurred to me that I no longer easily identified plants growing in the north. I used to be pretty doggone good at it. In fact, I was so good at it (not to toot my own horn) that one of my friends used to laugh at me. She would tell people that if they wanted to know what something was, just ask me. Not only would I tell them the common name, more often than not I would also know the botanical one as well. So imagine my disappointment when I realized that I had lost my edge, burned out my northern gardening brain, no longer connected with plants north of zone 11.

Now I will say that after looking at the photo of the groundcover it only took me a couple of tries before I realized it was in the ivy family, which led me to the Persian Ivy. So I guess I haven't totally lost my touch, just taken a slight turn to the south. Truth is I'm getting a little better at recognizing plants here now - at least I can quote the common name of many varieties. With a little more time I may even know the latin names. Happy Gardening or laetus topiarius.

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Thanks to Andrew Stenning who contributed the photograph for our masthead

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