Thursday, July 16, 2009
Is It A Weed or a Keeper?
Purple Phlox. Is it a weed or is it a keeper plant? That is something that gardeners have wondered about. Phlox re-seeds everywhere and is very hard to control in a garden. But its does bloom and provide color late in the summer when other plants seem to be drying up.This is a plant that grows at the Jarvis House in wet boggy areas. I called it a wild Impatiens. The leaves look similar. but these are very tall and have striking orange-yellow blooms. Fortunately they are easy to pull out, but they always seem to come back, year after year.A viney plant that spreads readily is the wild strawberry. I hope that the birds like it because it likes to cover any empty space, and it sends out runners which develop into new plants.Clover is pretty and the rabbits like to chew on it, so I guess it stays.Another spreading vine that was in the garden before I came along, is a creeping Jenny. It's green with very yellow flowers. I have noticed that a golden version of this plant is sold in garden centers and used in planters.Butterfly weed has beautiful pompom blooms and beautifully formed leaves. Plus it does attract butterflies. ( If any of these names are incorrect, please supply the proper titles.)A ferny mounding weed came into the Jarvis Garden a few years ago, doubtless an involuntary transplant with a purchased potted perennial. This spreads under all bushes and had tiny purple flowers. It does provide cover for spots of bare earth, seen here under a yew bush.A very tall fuzzy leafed weed popped up amidst my Hosta boarder. It looked interesting and so it grew. Now it measures about 6 or 7 feet tall and has a long spike of yellow flowers. There are many varieties of ferns in the Jarvis Garden, but unlike the mounding nature of the other ferns, this fern is a vigorous spreader. It is very hard to contain and shades and crowd out other more desirable plants.Loosestrife has been the topic of many garden talks regarding invasive plants on Long Island. Varieties of this shrub are sold in garden centers and used extensively in home garden and commercial designs. In upstate New York, it grows by the mile in the drainage ditches of the New York State Thruway. Its does re-seed readily, but it can be removed easily when young. This weed was growing in poor soil across the way from the Jarvis House. It's a transplant. But the flowers are the whitest white and they bloom all season. It does spread in sunny areas.Another white flowering weed blew into the side garden. It is tall with tiny daisy-like blossoms. I left it .These are the leaves of a Rose of Sharon bush. It is too soon for its late summer blossoms, but beware. This plant is pretty, but it re-seeds effortlessly. The flowers come in purple, maroon, white and maroon & white. The Planting Fields Arboretum has a pair of Rose of Sharon shrubs that are white and multi-petaled. Seen in a lot line boarder, late in summer, Rose of Sharon looks like a keeper.A variety of Mallow, volunteered on the side garden. It looks like it puts out many, many seed pods.Covering many of my azaleas on the south driveway garden, are Morning Glory vines. Birds probably transferred this pest. It comes back each year, although I try to remove it. Herbs like Mint, may spread like weeds, but you can always make mint iced tea. Cutting them back and bringing the stems & leaves into the kitchen, boiling them with the tea bags, keeps them in check. I haven't even gotten to Violets, Golden Rod, or Ivy.