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Teresa’s Lakeside Garden

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blooming golden groundsel around Greenbelt Lake

If you’ve walked around Greenbelt Lake recently you’ve probably noticed this scene along the path – a swath of gold and lots of lavender action, too. I was wow’ed by this scene enough last year to search out the gardener to find out more.  Turns out the gardener is the very knowledgeable Teresa Desch, who’s actually created native-plant gardens for restoration projects. So most of the plants in her own garden are native and, like typical woodland plants, they’re at their peak in the spring.

blooming golden groundsel around Greenbelt Lake


The gold-blooming plant is the native Golden Groundsel or Packera obovata, though I’ve never heard the Latin used. And the great news for this lawn-less gardener is that it’s a fast-spreading groundcover that’s evergreen – a rarity among natives, which is why the cursed English ivy is so popular here.  So instead of selling English ivy that climbs up trees and the sides of buildings, I wonder why this far superior groundcover isn’t sold instead.

blooming golden groundsel around Greenbelt Lake


The Groundsel looks great with the purple-flowering Phacelia bipinnatifida (commonly known as fern leaf phacelia).

golden groundsel or packera aurea in Greenbelt


Here’s the Groundsel doing well in a new location in my back yard.  I moved them to this spot so they wouldn’t be blooming anywhere near my azaleas, which bloom at the same time and to my eyes, clash.

Bleeding Heart

Back to Teresa’s garden, who doesn’t love Bleeding Heart?

native azalea at Greenbelt Lake

Or this native Azalea?

Follow Susan Harris:
Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. She also created and curates the Greenbelt Maryland YouTube channel. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog weekly at GardenRant.com.

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