During the winter of 2015-2016, I ordered 25 tiny plugs of Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea) from my favorite online native plant nursery, Izel Plants. I knew nothing of this perennial before I found it there, but if the terms “likes moist”, “deer resistant” and “native to the northeast U.S” are part of any plant description, I’m in.
The Golden Ragwort were planted last April and a year later, well, wow.
That didn’t take long.
An insane amount of blooms on almost all of the plants. I had been seeking a big time early spring bloomer and this appears to fit the bill perfectly.
To date they are thriving in wet locations in both full and partial sun. No creatures have as much as looked at them funny, let alone nibble them, and the blooms have looked divine for over a week now.
Ding, ding, we have a winner.
But I couldn’t leave it at that. Not this over-analytical gardener.
In bloom, the Golden Ragwort is about 2 feet tall. Once the blooms are spent and showing signs of wear, I plan on diligently cutting off all of the flowers to prevent any reseeding (they are known to be aggressive re-seeders). Once the stems are cut down to the low-lying basal foliage, they’ll be closer to 6 to 12 inches tall.
With that in mind, I question my best use of these “groundcovers” from a design perspective. Right now in flower, they’re taller than all of the slow growing perennials and shrubs behind them. It looks a bit off and I can’t stop analyzing it.
But once the stems and flowers are removed, the appropriate “ascending in size order” look will be there.
Do I bite the bullet, enjoy the fine flowers and chill the f out?
Or are you unfortunately like me, and subscribe to the school of over-tinkering and over-thinking?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.