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A Wonderful Weed

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - It started as a weed, but became a star in my garden. Philadelphia Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus) grows about two feet high with masses of pretty pink flowers that have yellow centers like delicate daisies. I found one in my garden a few years ago, discovered it’s native to our area, so I let it stay, and by this year, I had quite a display for a few weeks in May as it was mingling in a beautiful way with the flowers of the Amsonia I planted, a perennial known as ‘Blue Ice’ – see them together in the photo at left.

My friend Chris keeps her garden so much tidier than mine, she has a simple and smart policy – if she didn’t plant it, she pulls it out. I often wish I were as dedicated to cultivating my garden. But then, I would have missed out on this adorable pink and blue combination this spring so I’m glad my laziness and curiosity led me to let the Fleabane thrive. Although, I do plan to deadhead my Philadelphia Fleabane before it goes to seed and totally takes over as the weed it can be.