Friday, July 04, 2008

The weed jungle experiment


Ever since we moved in, the two beds alongside the alley and the back of the garage have been a mixed blessing. They get full southern and western exposure and have been great for plants that need sun, especially roses. But the HUGE caveat is that they are inaccessible. None of the hoses really reach and the one soaker barely has a trickle by the time the water gets that far.

And the weeds. So far I have done no weeding in these beds and the results are as follows.

Weed jungle #1 (top). This has an unknown rambler, the climbing Golden Showers, just out of its first bloom, oriental lilies, and a ton of fleabane and less attractive weeds. You see the edge of a massive pokeweed on the right.


Weed jungle #2 (above). This has what I took to be a failed transplanted Carefree Beauty, some always-bud-blasted Obdam double daffs, knautia, rusty hollyhocks, Rose of Sharon, and LOTS of weeds. I thought at least I should take the dead Carefree Beauty out, but I saw leaves on it. You can’t really see it behind the weeds.

I’m wondering what will happen if I leave them alone. It is such a pain, as the weeds are virulent back here and I just don’t have the time to deal with it. Everything has to be hand-watered, and the water tends to run out into the alley. It’s an alley, for chrissakes! Why can’t I have weeds here? Except I look at my neighbors carefully maintained alley beds and sigh.

16 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hopefully your larger plants will shade out the weeds EAL. A terrible delimma. I have a friend that has this same screnario in her back lot. Her plantings look very similar. I think it looks good for this space. Of course if you had a good look at my garden right now you would know why I think this looks good. tee hee....
Happy 4th.

Perennial Gardener said...

It is hard to have to handwater plants, I don't blame you for not dealing with it. I agree with Lisa about the larger plants shading out the weeds. ;) Have a safe and happy 4th.

Anonymous said...

Your mystery rose looks similar to one I purchased last year. Botanical Name: Rosa BAIrage Common Name: All the Rage, Easy Elegance. Pictures and thorough description: www.easyeleganceroses.com

Gina said...

I have a couple of areas like this so as soon as you figure out how to resolve your problem, I'll just be a copycat. Good luck!

Larktavia said...

Your weeds are so lush and pretty! This time of year we have fennel and valerian here. Maybe some blackberry brambles. Dec - May we have pain in the ass oxalis for weeds.

Carol said...

Put on some gloves and weed the beds "just once" and mulch what's left to see if you like that better than just leaving the beds alone. Then you can decide if the natural look is still the best option. (Yes, I'm trying to trick you into weeding those beds!)

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Rhonda said...

How beautiful......If only I had your "green thumb." It's amazing what happens when you think you've made a mistake or you're unable to care of plants properly.

Norman Rogers said...

It has been my experience that, as soon as the neighbor kids find out there is "weed" growing somewhere, they clean it all out and stagger around looking goofy for a day or two until someone patiently explains that it isn't the weed they are looking for.

I keep a five gallon drum of something or other from Monsanto around, and I spray whatever encroaches on my property. It turns brown then black then dies and nothing grows there for about a year. I love that product. The same can has lasted me for about eight years or so.

EAL said...

Oh Carol. You're such a conscientious gardener.

Layanee said...

Weeds can be called 'native plants' and that kind of garden is very politically correct these days. They are very pretty weeds! I have no time to weed either especially the beds best viewed from far away. Try to lose the guilt. Wine helps!

中島 彰信 said...

There is also same grass in my field for one of grass in this picture. The grass is mingled with food of a cow, and it's said that they came from the United States.
Because I don't understand English well, it may be strange English. I'm sorry.

Elvira said...

A weed by any other name...I agree with Larktavia, your 'weeds' are prettier than many high-maintenance gardens. Why not stop calling them weeds and relabel them as 'naturalistic landscaping'!

City Girl said...

Well, it is politically correct to grow native plants and many are edible. :D That said, perhaps a good native ground cover and/or some mulch will help control the less desirables. Also, IF you have some natives back there you are likely to need to water them less. ;) Morning glories require little car and make a nice ground cover. Get a good low maintenance side garden going and then your neighbors will be jealous.

Kay said...

They've actually arranged themselves quite attractively. I ten to let my "natural" corners go untended, then one day just swoop down and try to impose my own order on them. They'll be back in a week if I'm not vigilant.

kat said...

So what your neighbor has the "perfect yard." Yours has character, class and origonality. Weeds come with gardening. You could pull them, or leave them. They don't seem to be affecting your other gardens. If you want to take the specific plant out then go for it.
Maybe you could make a little border for them and have a Natural garden bed! Hand watering can be a pain but for me I use it to ease stress and I look forward to being outside with my little watering can!

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