Gardening Magazine

Minty Goodness

By Gardenamateur

Good. Our native mint bushes, or Prostanthera, are putting on their first spring flower show as mature plants, and they're a lovely sight. And, if you get up close to them, they're a lovely smell, too, as they get their common name from their mint-scented foliage.

Minty goodness
We planted three of these as small things in the spring of 2015. Last year they put on a small show, but the plants hadn't really grown to full size by that stage. So 2017 is their official backyard debut, by my reckoning.

Minty goodness
Here's two of the three bushes. The one on the left has been the "struggler" of the three. It's held up by stakes and a flexy soft cord attached to the low wall behind. The one on the right, which is the middle of the trio, is the star and has actually been cut back a few times already, as it is monstering the hanging baskets behind it.
Minty goodness
Speaking of hanging baskets, here they are doing their thing behind the mint bushes this morning. The red geranium flowers belong to our prolific 'Big Red' geranium which also grows like heck down at ground level. In the center of this shot are two pink flowers of our poorly performing ivy geraniums, which were the original inhabitants of this line of hanging pots. Out of six ivy geranium plants only two thrived, so that's when I decided that whacking in some cuttings of Big Red would fix things, which it did ...Meanwhile, back at the mint bushes, I blurted out to Pam my main fear at this stage, and it's this. More than once in my 26 years of gardening here, I have been through the cycle ofA. Plant natives as babies, watch them grow well, promising much ...B. Enjoy superb flower displays for a year or two, or maybe four or five ...C. Then, without much warning, the native plant suddenly keels over and dies.I know it's a pessimistic note to finish on, but there, I have gone and said it. I love native plants very much but experience has taught me to enjoy them, but not get too attached to them, either.Right now, however, I'm really enjoying these beautiful mint bushes.

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