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The six plants I can't live without

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"That's impossible" was my first thought when Steve Bender (Southern Living magazine's Grumpy Gardener and coauthor of the wonderful book, "Passalong Plants") e-mailed to suggest a "blogathon" in which 10 garden bloggers would talk about six plants they can't live without. Only six? There are more groups of plants than that -- annuals, perennials, bulbs, trees, shrubs, vines, herbs, vegetables, fruits, and roses, plus ornamental grasses, wildflowers, and water garden plants (although, if you're being picky, those are annuals and perennials). ...

And I try dozens of new plants every year. How can I limit myself to six? But, you know, I probably could -- if I really had to. I've moved around a lot in my adult life, which has greatly enriched my gardening experience, and there are some common threads in all the gardens I've created in various places -- among them Tennessee, West Virginia, Germany, Massachusetts.

What I look for in a "keeper" plant is simple -- it can't be fussy and it has to look or taste great. The second part needs no explanation -- nice appearance and great taste are the real reason we grow anything.


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