WARNING–Gooseneck Loosestrife makes my friend Kristen cuss.  She’s sorry she ever planted the $#@ thing  in her garden.  Meanwhile–a few miles down the road, I love the same plant. 

Sure,  it’s a matter of taste.  But we also have it planted in different kinds of beds.    My Gooseneck Loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides)  grows in wild places:  an edge of the woods bed that gets very little water, a dry, rocky place in front of the tool shed.   Kristen’s loosestrife  is unfortunately running around her flower and shrub bed.   Gosh–I hope she didn’t get it from me, cause she’s pulling it out all the time. 

She dreams of day when her garden is finally loosestrife free.   I dream of the same plant in bloom–bunches cut for pewter vases. 

For me Gooseneck loosestrife is a favorite cut flower.  The nodding, graceful plumes of purest white are like nothing else I grow.  In a vase they are the perfect contrast to disk-shaped flowers like daisies and lace-cap hydrangea (picture below).   And in arrangements–cut or growing in beds-contrast makes things pop.   It’s my back of a match book rule for combining flowers and foliage–bold with fine, dark with light, rays with disks.  Contrast works. 

But the plants have to work for you–for your garden.  There are thousands and thousands of plants to choose from.  It’s almost like picking wall colors–emotional, personal choices.  So choose what you love.   Then be prepared to  work with it.  The plant may baffle you, up and die on you, overrun the roses–but if you love it enough, you’ll figure out how to grow it.