Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Botanical Invaders

Have you ever planted something in your garden and regretted it later as it turned into a pest?

One gardening friend claims she had to move in order to get away from the lemon balm she innocently planted one spring. Many of the mints like lemon balm are invasive, but at least they're easy to weed out.

I comfort myself with the knowledge that the most troublesome plants at Violet Acres were not purchased and planted by me. They were here when we moved in, looking tidy and pretty.

Invasive lily of the valleyMy number one pain in the garden butt is Lily of the Valley.

When we first moved in, I was delighted to see a large patch of Lily of the Valley. I'd unsuccessfully tried growing it several times in my previous urban yard with no success.

Unsuspecting the relentless and robust underground runners, I naively transplanted it to empty patches of other gardens. One of my worst gardening mistakes.

When Lily of the Valley is happy, and Lily of the Valley is very happy on my property, it travels underground and pops up where ever it feels like popping up. It sprouts leaves in the middle of whatever other plant happens to be where Lily wants to be, which happens to be everywhere and anywhere.

I can't use Roundup on it without killing plants I don't want to kill. When I dig it up by the roots, each little piece of root that breaks off considers itself the start of a new underground runner.

On bad days, I've considered letting the whole five acres be covered with Lily of the Valley. It would be very pretty and fragrant in the spring.

Invasive fernsCinnamon ferns are another plant I was thrilled to have growing so happily here when we moved in. And I still like them, even though they require stern control to keep them in bounds.

This garden was ignored for too long, and the ferns took over the hostas, hellebores, and an azalea bush.

I'm in the process of digging out the ferns that are in another plant's territory, but it's not a one day project. Once I get them under control, I will be much more vigilant about removing ferns that stray out of bounds.

What grows berserk in your yard?


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A rootdigger said...

same things, and one more a frosted leaf lamium with yellow blossoms. It moves through and gives the lily of he valley shade.