Sunday, May 13, 2007

The spring invasion



I'm sure many can understand the love/hate dynamic when it comes to plants like the one shown above. These flowers are one of the most delightful sights of spring for me. Very few others form such a beautiful carpet at this time of year—indeed, at any time of year. In a couple weeks, though, I'll be pulling these out wherever I see them, except from the dreaded easeway space, where pretty much anything that will grow is welcome. The best part of it is that the violets will come up just the same next spring, no matter how many I think I'm pulling out.

Sweet woodruff is another such aggressor; it's jumped over a brick wall, and is now the dominant plant in one of my side spaces. Then there is the lamium cultivar—perhaps some sort of reversion—that has pink flowers from spring through fall. It seeds almost everywhere, which is fine with me. It's easy to pull out, if needed. In fact my mantra with the editing the magazine works here—always easier to subtract than to add.

I'd rather be fighting with invasives—which isn't hard in a small space like mine—than coaxing fussy plants to thrive. I love trying new plants, but in the meantime, I know I have a backdrop of various hardy geraniums, dicentra, lamium, gallium, and ferns that will fill in any barren space in no time.

5 comments:

jodi said...

Lovely, Elizabath! Most of these plants are welcome in my garden too--we call them free range plants, and find that most are welcomed by others even when we warn that they can be overacheivers. I'd add yellow archangel (Lamiastrum) to that mix, along with both types of yellow corydalis, one of the creeping blue veronicas, and Centaurea montana.

The only two plants that make me crazy are goutweed/ground elder (the naughty Aegopodium) and Campanula rapunculoides. Oh, and horsetail and creeping buttercup...

Jane M. said...

I agree about the violets, the sweet woodruff, lamium, etc., and add forget-me-nots to the list. And lily-of-the-valley. The best part is they keep the god damned Norway maple seedlings to a somewhat reasonable level.

The County Clerk said...

I actually don't mind the Aegopodium, but these violets drive me crazy because they invade the lawn and habituate lower than the grass (and so cannot be cut). I don't have much lawn, and will soon have less. But what I have I'd like to be turf.

You are such an optimist though.

Katherine said...

Another plant to add to the crazy, like the-houseguest-who-never-leaves variety of invasive culprits is the chameleon plant. This evil little creature can take over a perennial bed in no time! I'm doing battle with one volunteer that resided in a plant from a swap. I initally thought that it had pretty leaf color and that it would add some interest. Three years later and a lot of pulling, cutting, stamping on, this noxious stow-away has overgrown my coral bells and is threatening my hostas. Arrrgghhh! I'm forced to do something I never thought I'd do and use chemicals (Round-up), painting each leaf in an effort to blast this unwelcome visitor out of my garden!!!

Oh, would anyone like a few starts of this before the carnage begins??? :-)

Christa said...

That's so true about violets. I always pull most of them when they're finished blooming, and they always come back. Very reliable, they are!