Thursday, August 15, 2013

Eradicate the Infiltrators!

Much of what I have learned about gardening is from my mom. The rest of what I've learned is from the "live and learn" category. This year I've been trying to simplify my flower beds. I am trying to achieve a balance of loveliness and ease. It's not the easiest balance, I'm finding.

One of the goals I have is to eradicate the plants that have to constantly be "kept at bay". My list of plants that I have had at one time or another, but vow to never have again, is as follows:

Daylilies. Never. Plant. Daylilies. Again. Never. We've spent two years digging them out, and they are still popping up willy-nilly wherever they please. I think we'll be digging them up for another two years, at least. My son dug up thousands of those little tubers this year, and I'm sure he'll never have Daylilies in his gardens when he gets his own home. True, there are different types of Daylilies and some don't spread as much as others do, but I'm telling you, after all the trouble I've had with them, I don't want to take the chance.

Bishop's Weed. There is a reason it has "Weed" in the name. Bishop's Weed will spread fast and furiously. I actually love the look of it in the spring. It has variegated leaves and always looks so healthy in the beginning of the year. We dug all of ours up years ago, and I still see bits of it coming up in the middle of other plants here and there. I can't just let it go, or I'll be back at square one.

Obedient Plant. Really? Who was the jokester that came up with that name? This, too, is a really nice and healthy plant. When you first plant it, it comes in a gallon container, and you think to yourself, "This is a really nice little addition to my flower beds".

Obedient Plant

And then the next year, it gets a little larger. Its the year after that, and beyond, that gets out of hand. It seems like I blinked and this is what I have on my hands... Lovely, but it is vigorous enough that it really will take over and push everything else out.

It even jumped the stream and planted itself on the other side. Truly. It comes up in the strangest places.

Last year I had Bob fashion me some Obedient Plant edging out of metal. It worked great, but it couldn't stop them from crossing the stream and infiltrating other areas. Yikes. The other problem with it, is when it's done blooming, the stalks become brown and scraggly, and you have to cut them all down to the ground. If it was just a small, gallon-sized plant, this wouldn't pose a problem. As it is, it covers a lot of ground in my gardens, so it is quite a bit of work to cut them all back and clean them up. I believe this is my last year of Obedient Plant.

Ivy. Never plant Ivy. It doesn't ever want to die, and comes back over and over and over again.

Trumpet Vine. Never plant Trumpet Vine. It doesn't ever want to die, and comes back over and over and over again. We planted trumpet vine along our dog run (which spans all along the back of our property) many years ago. I thought it would look so nice to have a vine climbing all along that fence. Within a year's time, I realized that the trumpet vine wanted to take over the world, let alone our backyard. So, we dug it all out and figured we would never see it again. I planted lovely clematis all along the fence in its place, and we love the clematis. Problem is, the trumpet vine still comes back all over the place back there, and even mixes in with the clematis. Ugh. What a mistake that was!

Ornamental Strawberries. Wow! These are very vigorous and healthy little beasts. Even as I am writing this, I know they are stretching their little runners across the earth and expanding their clumps. We (when I say we, I mean Robbie) dug those out this year, and there is still a small area that needs digging.

Mexican Primrose. Be careful where you plant them, that's for sure! I have them all along my back dog run fence.

I still love them there, but they only work there because I have given them the entire flower bed to grow in. They spread like crazy, but where I have them, it works. I've had them in other areas of my yard, and had to get rid of them because they infiltrated e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

I'm sure I will add more to this list as time goes on, but I have made a solemn vow to myself to never purchase a plant on this list ever again. It is crucial to my sanity.

At another time, in the near future, I will write a post about my favorite, go-to, tried and true plants!

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