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Mountain West Regional Reports

It’s the Season for Taking Stock: What Plants Worked This Year and What Didn’t

Bleeding heart is one of the easy-care spring bloomers that gets to stay in my garden. Photo: Mary Ann Newcomer

For a couple of years now, I’ve been evaluating my garden plantings to determine who gets to stay and who goes. Water is pricey, plants can be pricey, and my time is also valuable. When it’s over 100°F outside, my time is really valuable. Plants need to earn their keep in my garden by performing extremely well with minimal effort on my part. If not, they will be removed, composted, or given away to good homes.

While 2019 was mild as milk toast, 12 months ago we were suffocating with the smoke of wildfires and 90+°F days for weeks on end. Smoke from wildfires creates an excess of ozone, causing plants to struggle with photosynthesis.Who knows what will happen next year?

With this in mind, I’ve made a list of the consistent perennial performers—plants that did really well no matter the temperature or the smoke. The plants in this…

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