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The Collector

Articles: The Collector

Multiples of each plant are massed to avoid a chaotic arrangement while yellow-green foliage unites the composition in the Thayer garden. Photo: Billy Goodnick

What seduced you into the world of plants? A spectacular 12-inch ‘Mango Madness’ dinner plate dahlia peeking over your neighbor’s fence? Or perhaps the otherworldly foliage of Kalanchoe beharensis. As time passed, you went from a collection of a few cool plants on the deck to a yard bursting with the objects of your obsession. You became a Plant Person.

Kalanchoe beharensis Photo: Billy Goodnick

Just for a second, look out your window, or create a picture of your garden in your mind. What do you see? Plants arranged for the best growing conditions for your ever-expanding collection? Or a happenstance arrangement driven by “An empty space! I’ll stick it there!”

The colors of purple-leaf plum (Prunus cerasifera), New Zealand tea tree (Leptospermum scoparium) and Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) all reside cl...

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