Daphne Is Difficult
By Phran Novelli
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Years ago, I was at a nursery peeking at all the plant tags because I didn’t know what anything was, when another shopper said to me loudly, ‘THAT’S A DAPHNE!’ I’d never heard of a Daphne and I said that I was just getting started in gardening. The woman got even more enthusiastic as she scolded me, “YOU HAVE TO HAVE A DAPHNE! If you’re going to be a serious gardener, you have to have a Daphne.”
Well, I’ve never been a very serious anything, and even before she finished lecturing me, I knew I’d never have a Daphne. And I don’t.
Daphnes are pretty little shrubs that smell spectacular when they flower in the spring, which is why so many gardeners can’t resist them. Trouble is, one day, Daphne’s just up and die. They’re famous for it – ‘Daphne death.’ A Daphne in the neighborhood died recently. Maybe it was the hard winter. Who knows?
Some plants are just too finicky. I let arboretums fuss over them and visit them there instead. Heavenly as their aroma can be, I’m glad I never planted a Daphne only to watch it die.